Orion Moon Can Make the Grade in Eatontown
by Jack Shinar
Date Posted: 6/18/2014 7:20:55 PM
Last Updated: 6/19/2014 8:32:21 AM
Lady Ten is the only graded stakes winner in the Eatontown field.
Orion Moon, who missed her first graded stakes win by a neck in the recent Beaugay Stakes (gr. IIIT), should be the one to beat in the $100,000 Eatontown Stakes (gr. III) June 21 over the turf at Monmouth Park.
The 5-year-old French-bred mare has two wins and two seconds from five starts in the United States for trainer Christophe Clement since transferring from her native country in the spring of 2013. She made her first try in graded stakes company in the 1 1/16-mile Beaugay May 3 at Belmont Park, narrowly missing at odds of 5-2 to Waterway Run after getting the lead late.
She'll be back at the same distance Saturday, when she faces eight other older fillies and mares. The Eatontown is race 11 on the card with a 5:43 p.m. PDT scheduled past.
Joe Bravo, who rode the chestnut to a close runner-up finish in an allowance/optional claiming event on the Gulfstream Park turf March 26, takes the call. Chevotel Racing Stable's daughter of Manduro breaks from post 4. Clement and Bravo combined to win the Eatontown in 2009 with All Is Vanity.
Carrying top weight of 118 is Howard Bender's Maryland homebred Nashly's Vow, leaving the rail while spotting the rest of the field two pounds apiece. The 6-year-old Broken Vow mare comes off back-to-back allowance wins for trainer Lawrence Murray and makes her graded stakes debut with Xavier Perez aboard.
The only graded stakes winner in the field is Southern California export Lady Ten, on the comeback trail for trainer Tony Dutrow after previously racing for Bob Baffert. The Mercedes Stables-owned 5-year-old mare by Rock Hard Ten has had just two starts in the past 18 months and was eased in her most recent, the Gallorette Handicap (gr. IIIT) on a good turf at Pimlico Race Course May 17.
Lady Ten won both the Sandy Blue Handicap and the Autumn Miss Stakes (gr. IIIT) in 2012. Gabriel Saez will ride for the first time.
Trainer Graham Motion, who won the Eatontown with the South African mare Gypsy's Warning in 2010, has entered both Rusty Slipper and Dido, who drew outside. Rusty Slipper captured the one-mile Little Silver over the Monmouth course in her most recent outing May 27 for owner Zanim R. Meahjohn. Jack Swain's homebred Bernstein filly Dido rides a three-race win streak into Saturday's race, her stakes debut.
Triple Arch was third in the Gallorette, while Lonesome Town missed by a neck when third after setting the pace in Monmouth's listed Miss Liberty at the Eatontown distance May 26.
$100,000 Eatontown Stakes (gr. III, Race 11, 5:43 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Nashly's Vow (MD), X Perez, 118, L E Murray
2. Rusty Slipper (KY), E Castro, 116, H G Motion
3. Triple Arch (KY), O Bocachica, 116, M J Vitali
4. Orion Moon (FR), J Bravo, 116, C Clement
5. Medea (IRE), F Boyce, 116, F Abbott III
6. Misty in Malibu (VA), J Navarro, 116, R Jenkins
7. Lonesome Town (KY), P Lopez, 116, M J Trombetta
8. Lady Ten (KY), G Saez, 116, A W Dutrow
9. Dido (KY), T McCarthy, 116, H G Motion
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