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Moon Philly ML Favorite in Nellie Morse

Country Life Farm’s Moon Philly is the morning line favorite to win Saturday’s feature at Laurel Park, the $125,000 Nellie Morse Stakes for fillies and mares. The 1-1/16th mile test drew 12 runners. Ten can face the starter.

 

Trained by Mike Trombetta, Moon Philly (9-5) drew the rail. The Malibu Moon filly had a troubled trip in the Cat Cay Stakes at Aqueduct on January 6, her most recent start. After stumbling at the gate under Jeremy Rose, Moon Philly had to jump a fallen horse in the stretch but still managed to take second. Moon Philly was a model of consistency last year with eight first or second place finishes in 11 starts. Rose keeps the mount on Saturday.

 

“If you really look at her form, the only time she hasn’t run her best races is when I was sprinting her in an attempt to get some stakes placings. When we went back to running long again, she ran well,” said Trombetta, who won stakes races at Laurel Saturday and Monday. “She had a bit of an excuse last time. I don’t know if she would have won it though Jeremy thought she was going to.”

 

Withgreatpleasure (3-1) has finished second in her past three starts, the Cornucopia Stakes at Parx Racing and the Willa On The Move and Thirty Eight Go Go Stakes at Laurel. David Nunn conditions the daughter of Hold That Tiger, who is also entered in Saturday’s Affectionately Stakes at Aqueduct.

 

Ciguaraya (5-1) beat elders in the Crowned Stakes at Delaware two starts back. The daughter of Latent Heat has won three-of-five since Juan Vazquez took over training in August. Angel Castillo has been her rider since.

 

Access to Charlie (8-1) is no stranger to stakes company, with a victory in the Twixt Stakes in 2011 and fourth place finishes in her past four stakes efforts. Larry Murray trains the Indian Charlie mare. Julian Pimentel is her rider.

 

Howard Wolfendale will start Carrietta (8-1), who has won three-of-six against optional claiming company since September. The Stephen Got Even mare has hit the board in 21-of-31 lifetime starts.

 

Prize Winner, Touch the Birds and Tanivan are all listed at 12-1 on the morning line. All three come into the Nellie Morse off victories.

 

Silver Heart (20-1) and Dial Direct (30-1) round out the field.

 

Malibu Murmur and Blessed Soul are the also-eligibles.

 

 

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