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MOROCCO MOON IMPRESSIVE IN U.S. DEBUT FOR DRYSDALE, TAKES SANTA ANITA FEATURE DOWN HILLSIDE TURF
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 5, 2012)—Morocco Moon, a slightly built English-bred filly making her U.S. debut, scored in style under veteran David Flores at Santa Anita Friday, taking the afternoon’s third race, a $53,000 second-condition allowance affair by 1 ¾ lengths while negotiating 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course in 1:11.38.
Idle since running at York in her native England on May 18, the 3-year-old daughter of Rock of Gibraltar came into today’s race with a solid work tab that included two moves over the Santa Anita turf course.
“I worked her both times here at Santa Anita and I could tell right away she was a nice filly,” said Flores. “We worked in company here the last time (Sept. 30) and I could tell right away she was very competitive. She was really a handful.”
Morocco Moon burst clear from off the pace in mid-stretch to win handily at odds of 6-1.
“She’s got so much class,” said Flores. “She broke good and she was into the bit right away. These are the kinds of horses that can make a difference, especially if your business is slow and mine has been.”
Hall of Fame conditioner Neil Drysdale noted, “She’s a little bitty thing, but she’s not badly made. She’s just small. She came over during Del Mar and she’s been training well, and she had a couple nice works with David. We’ll wait and see what to do next.”
Owned by Bamford and Speelman, Morocco Moon sat mid-pack in the field of 10 fillies and mares as longshot Magic School carved out fractions of 21.03, 42.28 and 1:05.23.
Morocco Moon paid $14.00, $7.80 and $4.20. With the winner’s share of $31,800, she padded her earnings to $49,284 from an overall mark of 5-3-1-1.
Hopeful Union, with Jose Valdivia Jr. aboard, was off at 32-1 and paid $24.80 and $11.40.
Graser, the 9-5 favorite with Corey Nakatani, appeared to have an uneventful trip while running third, finishing a length behind Hopeful Union and returning $2.80 to show.
Santa Anita will present a 10-race program on Saturday that includes the Grade I Santa Anita Sprint Championship, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race for horses aspiring to run in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.
Saturday’s card will also include the Grade II Arroyo Seco Mile, the $100,000 Tim Conway Stakes and the $70,000 Swingtime Stakes.
Additionally, The Great Race Place will guarantee a $400,000 pool in the late Pick 4. First post time is at 1 p.m.