The Malibu Moon
filly raced in midpack early and picked up the pace when Patrick Husbands angled the 5-2 favorite wide into the stretch. She overhauled Morant Bay under a steady drive and scored by one length. Maiden winner Unspurned rallied determinedly from last after stumbling out of the gate and though she could not catch the winner she outfinished Morant Bay for second by half a length in the seven-horse field.
Madly Truly covered 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack in 1:44.81 to win for the second time in five career starts for trainer Mark Casse, who captured the Darley Alcibiades Stakes (gr. I) the previous day at Keeneland Race Course
with 2-year-old filly My Conquestadory
. He also won a maiden special weight race with favorite Coastline
Oct. 5 at the Lexington track.
Madly Truly stepped up from her maiden victory in July to the six-furlong Ontario Debutante Stakes Aug. 10 on the Polytrack at Woodbine and finished third. She subsequently finished fourth in the one-mile Natalma Stakes (Can-II) on grass Sept. 14 but earned her first stakes win when stretched out further in the Mazarine after being returned to the all-weather.
Husbands believed Madly Truly had a tough trip in the Natalma while racing between stablemates Spring Likeacobra
, the eventual winner, and Appreciating
, who ultimately finished third behind runner-up Spanish Flower
, on the home turn.
"Last time we had three horses in the race and swinging for home, all three were together and I was in the middle," Husbands said. "I told Mark Casse's assistant that she was much the best and it was unfortunate how the race unfolded."
Morant Bay sprinted clear and opened a four-length lead through fractions of :23.97 and :47.84 while tracked by Tamazula from second. Tamazula closed to challenge late on the turn and led briefly, but Morant Bay battled back to regain the lead. The top two finishers were too strong, however.
Madly Truly paid $7.20, $3.90, and $3.40, topping a $93.60 exacta with 7-1 shot Unspurned, who returned $5.50 and $6.20 while seeking to rebound from a sixth-place finish in the Natalma in her second start. Morant Bay paid $8.80.
Bred in Kentucky by Castleton Lyons and Kilboy Estate, Madly Truly is out of the winning Nureyev mare Beautifulballerina. Casse, as agent, bought the filly for $110,000 out of the Paramount Sales, agent, consignment at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky select yearling sale.
Madly Truly is among 73 stakes winners for Malibu Moon, a 16-year-old son of A.P. Indy. He stands at Spendthrift Farm in Lexington.