Odds-on favorite Keemoon took control with five furlongs to run, then shook off a late bid from Juvenia to win the $75,725 Reloy Handicap for older fillies and mares Thursday at Santa Anita Park. Keemoon, under Gary Stevens at 121 pounds, completed the about 1 1/2 miles in 2:29 1/5 on a "yielding" turf course and returned $3.40, $2.60 and $2.10.
Juvenia, under all-time leading rider Laffit Pincay Jr. at 116 pounds, rallied strongly in deep stretch to miss by a neck and paid $4.40 and $2.40. Eight lengths back was Ridjouna, Victor Espinoza riding at 114 pounds and a $2.20 show payoff.
Marie de Bayeux and Palace Royale completed the order of finish. Keld was a race-day scratch.
The win improved Keemoon's career mark to 6-6-1 from 20 starts while the winner's share of $45,435 increased her earnings to $290,690.Marie de Bayeux broke on top but was quickly headed by Palace Royale as the pace-setters completed the short run into the first turn. Stevens was content to let Keemoon settle in third position.
Marie de Bayeux regained a short lead after a mile, run in 1:38 3/5, but was quickly reeled in by Stevens as Keemoon pulled him into the lead around the far turn. Entering the homestretch, Pincay made a bold move up the rail with Juvenia but couldn't catch the winner.
A 5-year-old bay mare bred in France, Keemoon is owned by Henry Pabst and trained by Neil Drysdale.