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Morocco Moon Sharp in US Downhill Debut

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.


 

 

 

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