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Moon Over Miami roars home to win $750K Dueling Grounds Derby

September 11, 2020

Moon Over Miami collected his first stakes win in style Thursday at Kentucky Downs with a come-from-behind victory in the $750,000 Dueling Grounds Derby (VIDEO).

With the big $432,450 winner’s purse, the 3-year-old Malibu Moon colt boosted his earnings to $540,152 and record to 3-0-0 in nine starts for owner/breeder Summer Wind Equine.

After drawing in the race from the also-eligible list, Moon Over Miami had the outside post in the field of 12 going the marathon 1 5/16-miles. Allowed to drop well off the pace by jockey Javier Castellano in the early going, he had one horse beat after a half-mile. He began to make up ground while very wide on the big final turn, then accelerated quickly to take command outside the furlong marker.

Pacesetter Big Dreaming tried to match strides, but Moon Over Miami was too good, winning by a half-length in 2:06.76 on the firm turn, missing the track record by less than 1/5th of a second.

“I rode with a lot of patience,” said Castellano of the Bill Mott trainee. “I tried to save all the ground as best I could around the first turn and let it him develop a hole little by little on the backside and get him a clear trip.”

Moon Over Miami’s win comes just four days after Malibu Moon’s multiple stakes winner Come Dancing took the Honorable Miss (G2) at Saratoga, giving he Spendthrift stallion 11 stakes horses on the year.