Santa Anita News
SWEET AUGUST MOON UPSETS IN LAS FLORES; HIGH RESOLVE THIRD
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 5, 2009) – While gaining her third straight victory, Sweet August Moon ran down odds-on win machine High Resolve who would fade to third in Sunday’s 57th running of the Grade III, $100,000 Las Flores Handicap for fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs over Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride surface.
The victorious 4-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon thus validated her recent 9-1 upset win in Santa Anita’s $100,000 Honest Lady Stakes as she rallied from third under Aaron Gryder to defeat Foxy Danseur by 1 ¼ lengths while clocked in 1:15.21.
High Resolve, who had won 7 of her 10 previous races but was relegated to second in two starts over a synthetic track, led into the stretch with Russell Baze aboard before winding up a head behind Foxy Danseur. She set early fractions of 22.01 and 44:85 as the 4-5 favorite.
In securing her first victory in a graded stakes race, 3-1 second choice Sweet August Moon paid $8.20, $4.20 and $2.20. Foxy Danseur, ridden by Joel Rosario, returned $3.60 and $2.20. The show price on High Resolve was $2.10.
“She’s always been such a big filly, and it looks like now that her ability is catching up to her size,” Gryder said while analyzing Sweet August Moon’s recent improvement.
“I had a lot of respect for High Resolve,” he continued. “She’s run well here, and she was coming off a big race (a 2 ¼-length win in the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 24). It looked to me like she was the lone peed. I was hoping Mike Smith (aboard Coco Belle) could put some pressure on her from the outside. It was enough pressure, and we were able to take advantage of it.”
Trained by Brian Koriner for the Legacy Ranch and Shirley MacPherson, Sweet August Moon had begun her career with but two wins in eight starts before launching her three-race winning streak.
“She’s matured and is really good right now,” noted Koriner. “She was very sharp today, and a little closer than I thought she would be. He (Aaron Gryder) got her on the outside and made a big run.”
The Las Flores’ winner’s share of $60,000 increased the career earnings of Pennsylvania-bred Sweet August Moon to $230,102 from an overall record of 5-1-1 in 11 starts.
Santa Anita will be dark on Monday and Tuesday before racing resumes with an eight-race program on Wednesday with first post at 1 p.m.