Moonlit Beauty made every pole a winning one en route to a 4 3/4-length score in Sunday’s $125,000 Classy ‘n Smart Stakes, at Woodbine.
The chestnut daughter of Perigee Moon-Global Gossip, trained by John LeBlanc Jr. and ridden by Eurico Rosa da Silva, became the lone speed in the 1 1/16-mile ‘Poly’ route when Kay’s Grace was a vet scratch at the gate and Moonlit Beauty took full advantage to persevere for her fourth added-money score.
Moonlit Beauty set splits of :24.87, :49.13 and 1:12.61 with favoured Reconnect stalking on her right flank down the backstretch. Reconnect tried to reel in the front-runner through the turn, but Moonlit Beauty kicked on strong to prevail in a final running time of 1:43.54. It’s Gail rallied for place, a length in front of Reconnect.
LeBlanc Jr. was beaming following Moonlit Beauty’s ninth career score, taken over a main track that has recently benefitted from a re-application of wax and additional fibre as a matter of a routine three-to-five year maintenance regimen.
“She really took to the ‘Poly’ today,” he said. “I think the added wax helped her and the added fibre. She likes a tighter course and that’s what seems to have happened since the addition. She’s done everything I’ve asked of her – trained great, eating great and I’m super pleased.”
The veteran conditioner was also pleased with the trip engineered by da Silva, who steered the six-year-old mare to a head score over Reconnect last time out in the grassy Victoriana Stakes.
“He knows her well,” said LeBlanc Jr. “He has such confidence in her and that’s how he rode her.”
Moonlit Beauty banked $75,000 in victory while improving her record to nine wins, four seconds and a third from 32 lifetime starts.
She paid $6.70, $3.60 and $2.20, combining with It’s Gail ($3.20, $2.10) for a $19.70 (8-6) exactor. An 8-6-1 (Reconnect, $2.10 to show) triactor was worth $28.50 while a $1 superfecta [8-6-1-4 (Clementis)] came back $44.80. Grace Phil and Kay’s Grace were scratched.