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Eden’s Moon leads the way in G2 San Clemente H.

July 22, 2012

Eden’s Moon on the way to victory in the G2 San Clemente © BENOIT PHOTO

Eden’s Moon made her grass debut a winning one with a front-running victory in the $150,000 San Clemente H. (G2) July 22 at Del Mar [VIDEO]. The 3-year-old Bridlewood bred filly took charge leaving the gate and never looked back in winning by 1 ¼ lengths in 1:34.38 for the mile over the firm turf.

The San Clemente victory topped off a great three-day stretch for Malibu Moon, that included a pair of Spendthirft bred maiden special weight winners: 2-year-old Kauai Katie’s 12-length score in her debut at Saratoga; and Malibu Tide’s easy score on the Woodbine turf. The top-10 stallion also had an impressive allowance winner at Del Mar with the 3-year-old filly Winding, a full-sister to Kauai Katie who is a Spendthrift homebred.

Eden’s Moon was pressed while between horse early, but cleared off by a length after a half mile in 47 seconds. Well-handled by Rafael Bejarano, she drew off by two lengths in the stretch to hold her foes at bay and ultimately winning by 1 1/4-lengths.

“She surprised me today,” Bejarano said. “She broke so good and went to the front easy. She was comfortable. I thought maybe we’re going a little fast, but she was doing it so well I just let her run. She’s a nice filly; there’s no doubt about that. And she likes the grass. We know that now, too.”

Bred in Florida, Eden’s Moon won the Grade 1 Las Virgenes S. last winter at Santa Anita, was third in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) this spring, and most recently beaten just a nose in the Hollywood Oaks (G2) June 12.

“I didn’t know what to do with her down here (at Del Mar), but we worked her on the turf and she liked it” said winning trainer Bob Baffert, referring to a half-mile drill in :48 2/5 July 16. “She likes a firmer surface, turf or dirt, and now we know we have options with her. We have the (Del Mar) Oaks (G1, on Aug. 18) here, so we can think about that.”

Eden’s Moon, a $390,000 purchase at the 2011 Midlantic sale of two-year-olds in training, collected a purse of $90,000 Sunday to increase her career earnings to $358,600 for her owner Kaleem Shah.