Moonlight Sonata Sounds Sweet at 60-1
Date Posted: 9/28/2002 7:12:38 PM
Last Updated: 9/28/2002 7:15:13 PM

Woodbridge Farm's Moonlight Sonata posted the biggest upset in the history of the Arlington-Washington Lassie (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies when the daughter of Carson City rallied wide in the stretch to earn a 1 3/4-length victory at odds of more than 60-1.

Ridden by Shane Laviolette, who won the 1997 edition of the race with Silver Maiden, the William Helmbrecht-trained Moonlight Sonata covered the distance in 1:37.82 and paid $122.60, $35.40 and $14.40.

"There was a bunch of speed horses in the race," said Laviolette. "So I dropped back, tucked in and tried to save some ground. When I asked her down the lane, she came out and went on about her business. She was on the bit today. She wanted to get her head up a little so when I tucked her back and she got dirt in her face, she came right back to me."

Moonlight Sonata was not asked for speed and was in ninth position through the first half-mile of the race. She began to rally on the turn and was in fifth while racing five wide as the field of 13 turned for home.

She made steady progress in the lane and was drawing off at the wire.

Parting, also far back early, rallied three wide turning for home, took a short lead in the stretch but was unable to hold of the winner. The 14-1 outsider was ridden by Rene Douglas and paid $14.60 and $8.20.

"She did everything right," said Douglas. "You have to give her credit. She fought the whole time."

Souris, second choice in the wagering, ran third under jockey Corey Lanerie and paid $4.

"Everything went great," Lanerie said. "I like her a whole bunch. She is a nice filly. She had a great start. She does things like a professional. I just couldn't get her to the right spot."

The 3-2 betting favorite, Ashraaf, was far back early and wide, finishing out of the money.

"I'm disappointed," said jockey Frank Lovato Jr., who rode Ashraaf. "I felt that I got the trip we were looking for, but for whatever reason, she didn't kick on.

"She may have got caught up in a little trouble shortly after the start, but the good ones find a way to overcome that," added her trainer, Eoin Harty. "There's no point in taking her to the Breeders' Cup."

The one-turn one-mile Arlington-Washington Lassie is traditionally the main event for 2-year-old fillies on the Chicago Thoroughbred racing scene. But this year the Lassie serves as the final major local prep for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), to be contested at a 1 1/8 mile at Arlington Oct. 26.

Helmbrecht was non-committal about future plans for the winner.

"That's a dream," he said of a possible start by Moonlight Sonata in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. "I'll talk to (owner William) Geist and see what he wants to do."

(Chart, Equibase)

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