Moonshine Memories Remembers Winning in Debutante

Bridlewood, Magnier, Tabor and Smith’s Moonshine Memories rose to the top of the Southern California juvenile fillies division with her impressive wire-to-wire score by a half-length in the $300,690 Del Mar Debutante (GI) on the closing Saturday of the seaside oval’s signature summer meet. The daughter of Malibu Moon is trained by Simon Callaghan and was ridden to victory by Flavien Prat, who surged to be leading rider with four wins on the day and only two racing days left.

At odds of nearly 6-1, Moonshine Memories was worth $13.40, $6.40, $4.20, keying a generous $74 exacta when near 19-1 chance Piedi Bianchi finished second and returned $14.20 and $6. Sorrento Stakes (GII) winner Spectator was another 5 ¼ lengths back in third and paid $3, closing off a generous $133.85 trifecta for $.50.

Dancing Belle, the 9-5 favored Just A Smidge, Poetic and Gabrielleelizabeth completed the order of finish.

Moonshine Memories (photo by Benoit Photography).

Moonshine Memories (photo by Benoit Photography).

After breaking alertly from post position two, Prat sent Moonshine Memories right from the lead where she set all the pace through quick splits of :21.97, :44.85 and 1:09.90 with a clear advantage on the field behind her. Though briefly challenged by the runner-up in deep stretch, the bay filly finished strongly and held on to the win, stopping the clock for the seven furlongs in 1:23.61 over a fast main track.

“No special instructions for me today,” Prat said. “[Callaghan] said, ‘She’s got speed, get her away from there and find a spot.’ She was cruising out there today, just cruising. She’s a nice filly and I think she’ll definitely run on.”

Moonshine Memories was bred in Kentucky by Summer Wind Farm and was purchased by her current owners for $650,000 as a Fasig-Tipton August Saratoga select yearling a year ago. The daughter of the Unbridled’s Song mare Unenchantedevening, who is a half-sister to 1997 Horse of the Year Favorite Trick, is now undefeated in two career starts, having broken her maiden two weeks ago, and has earned $216,000.

“We were actually looking for any small excuse not to run her back (in two weeks),” Callaghan said. “There was no pressure from the owners. This filly just did everything you’d want from a horse in between. She showed in the paddock – her disposition and how calm she was – is something you can’t instill in them, it’s within them.

“I liked the way she was traveling within herself [in the race], but then you look at the fractions and you get a little worried. She just kept running potential rivals off and she was all heart at the end.

Margaret Ransom
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters, Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.

After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager. She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several race horse retirement organizations, including CARMA.

Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull as her favorite horse of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, three Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.