“She had us out of our seats, the Breeders’ Cup [Filly & Mare Turf] was an exciting race.”

That was Donato Lanni, curator of the X-Men Racing syndicate which co-owns racing darling MOIRA, who was a gallant third in the Grade 1 event at Santa Anita on Nov. 5, passed just late by the best filly in England, Inspiral (GB) and Ireland’s top filly Warm Heart. Moira was one length and a head from winning the $1.5 million race.

The race was fast – 1:59.06 – and Moira earned a career-best 103 Beyer Speed Figure. Prior to that big effort, the 2022 Queen’s Plate and Woodbine Oaks winner was third in the E.P. Taylor (G1) and won the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes. Her career earnings are just over $1.4 million.

“We were very proud of her,” said Lanni.

Lanni said Moira’s brilliant run was even more impressive considering how long it took her to get from Woodbine to California.

“It was her first time on a plane and then she was on and off vans. It was a 36-hour journey for her. She was a real trooper. We tend to think of racehorses as machines, but they are animals. Moira has matured and she really stepped up to the challenge.”

Three days after the Breeders’ Cup, Moira, also owned by Madaket Stables and SF Bloodstock, was in the sale ring for The November Sale at Fasig Tipton in Lexington, KY, offered as a racing or broodmare prospect. The long and lean Ghostzapper four-year-old caused a stir in the ring and the bidding soared to $3 million. The hammer dropped and the buyer was listed as DM Bloodstock but essentially, the filly will have the same ownership group going forward.

“She’s very special to us,’ said Lanni, who also started up the Canuck Racing Club for newer owners this year. “She’s pretty lightly raced and we really haven’t thrown her into the deep end much. So she will be back with Kevin next year and we will pick our spots for her.”

Moira is currently having some R&R at Margaux Farm in Kentucky.

Lanni will be at Woodbine on Saturday, Nov. 25 as X-Men and Canuck have several horses competing including runners in the $250,000 Princess Elizabeth.

“We will continue to support Canadian racing. We have re-loaded for next year; having new horses is very important for the syndicates.”