There have been some very good claims in recent years. Horses that were former claimers became overnight superstars with the "right" trainer, proving that you don't have to start big to become big. Last month Moonshine Mullin pulled the upset in the Grade 2 Alysheba, but tonight in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap, the intact 6-year old son of Albert the Great proved that his first big win was no fluke.
With the betting public split between Will Take Charge, Revolutionary, and Departing, Moonshine Mullin went to post at juicy 10-1 odds despite his last race. Though logic dictated that he would go to the lead, the eventual winner instead sat right off long shot Jaguar Paw through the early goings. With Shaun Bridgmohan in the irons, Jaguar Paw set comfortable splits of 23:90 and 47:91 for the opening quarter and half.
Pouncing on the far turn, Moonshine Mullin grabbed the lead only to lose it to Departing at the top of the stretch. While Will Take Charge and Golden Ticket loomed large on the outside, the inside is where all the action ended up being. Bound and determined to keep his win streak alive, Moonshine Mullin with Calvin Borel aboard battled back to win comfortably in 1.49:66 for the 1 1/8 mile race.
Will Take Charge's late run fell short but he had enough to get up for second. Departing stuck around to nab third, and Mylute's late charge got him up into fourth. The order of finish was completed by Golden Ticket, Revolutionary, Long River, Prayer for Relief, and Jaguar Paw.
Off at 10-1 odds, Moonshine Mullin returned $22.00/$9.00/$5.20. Post time favorite Will Take Charge paid $4.60/$3.40 for the place, and Departing was worth $3.60 for a $2 show bet. The $2 exacta returned $102.20. The $2 trifecta paid $513.00, and the $2 superfecta was worth $5,307.00.
By Albert the Great and out of the Distant View mare Mullen Road, Moonshine Mullin was claimed by his current connections, owner Randy Patterson and trainer Randy L. Morse, back in November at Remington Park. Prior to his current five race win streak, two of them graded, Moonshine Mullin's biggest claim to fame was a 2nd place finish to Stay Thirsty in the 2011 renewal of the G2 Jim Dandy Stakes.
Today's Stephen Foster victory pushed Moonshine Mullin to an overall record of 32: 9-4-5 for total purse money of $1,014,361. Along with lion's share of tonight's purse, the Morse trainee also earned an automatic berth in the 2014 Breeders' Cup Classic.