Moonshine Mullin Brews Victoria Park Surprise
by Jack Shinar
Date Posted: 6/12/2011 5:47:18 PM
Last Updated: 6/14/2011 2:24:11 PM
Moonshine Mullin wins the Victoria Park Stakes.
Michael Burns Photography
Passed in mid-stretch, pacesetter Moonshine Mullin fought back along the rail for jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson to capture the $155,685 Victoria Park Stakes (VIDEO) by a nose over Alpha Bettor in a big upset at Woodbine June 12.
Trained by Reade Baker for owner Viking Farm, 15-1 shot Moonshine Mullin turned the tables on 26-1 Alpha Bettor, who nipped the son of Albert the Great by a head in a first-level allowance race at Woodbine May 8. This was the first added-money victory in the career of Moonshine Mullin, who was bred in Kentucky by Dr. Russ Beran and Dick Johnson.
The 1 1/8-mile Polytrack event for 3-year-olds featured Twinspired in his first start since running 17th in Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 7.
Twinspired was made the 2-1 favorite in the Victoria Park after losing Keeneland's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) on Polytrack by a nose prior to the Derby. Also in the field of nine was 3-1 second choice Newsdad, a close fourth despite trouble in the Blue Grass, as well as a couple of Canadian-bred sophomores with a hope of making a case for running in the Queen's Plate June 26 at Woodbine.
Moonshine Mullin, a little rank to begin, hustled to the front over Twinspired and Alpha Bettor and settled into a reserved pace while leading comfortably through quarter-mile fractions of :25.26, :50.22 and 1:14.07. Alpha Bettor, ridden by James McAleney, challenged for the lead in upper stretch and got a narrow advantage approaching the furlong pole.
But Moonshine Mullin, under a drive from Wilson, battled back to draw even along the inside in the final yards. He prevailed in a rousing finish with a final bob of the head in a solid time of 1:51.04.
Alpha Bettor was a clear second by 1 1/2 lengths over Newsdad and Alan Garcia. Twinspired, after pressing the pace into the homestretch for Robby Albarado, faded to seventh.
Moonshine Mullin, who is out of the Distant View mare Mullen Road, won for the first time since graduating on the Woodbine turf in his second start last October. The bay colt had lost four in a row since. He finished second in Woodbine's Display Stakes in November and began the current season with a pair of unplaced efforts at one mile on the Gulfstream Park turf.
He earned $91,881 for the victory while improving his career mark to 2-1-1 in seven starts with a total bankroll of $166,757.
Moonshine Mullin paid $33.80, $16 and $7.90 as the seventh choice and topped a $380.80 exacta. The Daniel Vella-trained Alpha Bettor returned $24.80 and $11.80. Newsdad, eighth in the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park May 14 for trainer Bill Mott, was $4 to show and rounded out a $1,983.60 trifecta.
Pender Harbour was a half-length farther back in fourth, completing a $1 superfecta worth $7,367.25. Then came Seawatch, Burj Alzain, Twinspired, Code of Conduct, and Top Prospect.
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