By the Moon secures the May 5 Vagrancy Handicap by 1 3/4 lengths over a sealed Belmont track

By the Moon secures the May 5 Vagrancy Handicap by 1 3/4 lengths over a sealed Belmont track

Coglianese Photos/Chelsea Durand

By the Moon Seeks to Defend Bed o' Roses Title

Indian Charlie mare won invitational last year.

Jay Em Ess Stable's homebred By the Moon will be seeking to defend her crown when the 5-year-old mare tops a field of 10 entered in the $250,000 Bed o' Roses Invitational Stakes (G3) on the June 9 Belmont Park card.

The seven-furlong sprint for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up is the first of four graded races on opening day of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival presented by NYRA Bets.

A 5-year-old Indian Charlie mare trained by Michelle Nevin, By the Moon returns off a 1 3/4-length victory in the grade 3 Vagrancy Handicap over a sloppy, sealed Belmont strip. In her 2017 debut, By the Moon finished second by a neck to High Ridge Road in the grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Stakes at Laurel Park.

"I'm really happy with her. She's doing great," Nevin said. "She's training forwardly for the race, loves Belmont, and looks fantastic. If it rains, she can handle that too."

With earnings of more than $1.12 million, By the Moon has five wins from 16 starts, with six runner-up efforts and one third-place finish. At Belmont, the mare owns three wins from four starts and will have the services of Rajiv Maragh for the second straight time.

Lightstream looks to get back to the winners' circle after consecutive fifth-place finishes against tougher competition in the La Brea Stakes and the Humana Distaff Stakes, both grade 1. The La Brea at Santa Anita Park and the Humana Distaff on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) undercard followed a victory in the grade 2 Lexus Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland.

Trainer Brian Lynch is hopeful there is sufficient early speed to set up for closer Lightstream.

"I didn't think she was 100% fitness wise going in to the Humana Distaff," Lynch said. "She caught a track that was speed-favoring, but she's 100% going into this race so I'm hoping she brings one of her A-game performances. It would be nice. I don't think it's a deep field. It might be a big field, but I don't think it's as deep as the Humana Distaff. For a $250,000 (purse), it might not be a bad spot."

The 4-year-old Harlan's Holiday filly, owned in partnership by Head of Plains Partners, Up Hill Stable, and Little Red Feather Racing, was unraced at 2 and undefeated in her first three starts, including the grade 3 Adena Springs Beaumont Stakes and Belmont's Soaring Softly Stakes on turf. Her first defeat came in the 1/16-mile Mother Goose Stakes (G1) when she raced five-wide to finish third.

Godolphin Racing's Indulgent seeks to rebound from her effort in the Ruffian Stakes (G2) at a mile, in which the late-running filly found herself on the lead through the slop before tiring to finish last of five.

Previously, the Bernardini  filly trained by Kiaran McLaughlin was first or second in five consecutive starts. She will be ridden Friday by Irad Ortiz Jr., who has been aboard for all seven starts.

Entries: Bed o' Roses Invitational S. (G3)

Belmont Park, Friday, June 09, 2017, Race 11

  • Grade III
  • 7f
  • Dirt
  • $250,000
  • 4 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
  • 6:18 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Wheatfield (LA)Luis Saez119Nicholas P. Zito20/1
22High Ridge Road (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJose L. Ortiz121Linda Rice4/1
33Indulgent (KY)Irad Ortiz, Jr.117Kiaran P. McLaughlin8/1
44Quezon (NY)Manuel Franco119Robert Ribaudo6/1
55Lightstream (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJavier Castellano121Brian A. Lynch7/2
66Flora Dora (FL)Channing Hill119Marialice Coffey20/1
77Mia Torri (FL)Mike E. Smith119Jorge Navarro10/1
88Tale for Ruby (KY)John R. Velazquez119Barclay Tagg20/1
99By the Moon (KY)Rajiv Maragh119Michelle Nevin2/1
1010Discreet Senorita (PA)Paco Lopez119Richard A. Violette, Jr.30/1