Last year Jay Em Ess Stable homebred By the Moon rallied from fifth to score a clear victory in the Bed o' Roses but this year she was more prominent early, shadowing early leader Mia Torri, seizing the lead mid-turn, and holding sway over the resilient frontrunner to earn a three-quarter-length victory in the seven-furlong race for older fillies and mares.
The win continues By the Moon's impressive run at Belmont where the daughter of Indian Charlie has won four races and finished second once from five starts. Trained by Michelle Nevin, By the Moon has registered a strong start to her 5-year-old season with back to back grade 3 wins after a runner-up finish in a grade 2 race to open the season.
"She showed up again as usual," Nevin said. "She always tries and it was another great effort."
In Friday's Bed o' Roses, Phillip Sagon's Mia Torri broke well under Mike Smith and the two-time stakes winner would register an opening quarter-mile in :23.58 but favored By the Moon and Rajiv Maragh quickly settled into a tracking position to her outside. Just after Mia Torri registered a half-mile in :47.37, By the Moon moved to even terms and then would turn for home with the lead.
While Mia Torri would continue to battle to her inside, By the Moon raced steadily to the wire to complete the race in 1:23.46 on a fast track. Mia Torri held second, holding off second-choice Lightstream by a head.
Nevin liked the ride by Maragh, who chose to put By the Moon close to the early leader.
"On paper it looked like there wasn't much speed other than Mia Torri, so I was hoping for a good break," Maragh said. "I had a great post outside to see how the race was unfolding. She broke really well from the gate and she always was running strong on the bridle."
By the Moon, the 6-5 favorite, returned $4.50, $2.90, and $2.50 across the board. Mia Torri paid $7.30 and $4.40 to place and show while Lightstream paid $3.30 to show.
Saturday's win is the fourth graded stakes win for By the Moon, who at 2 captured the Frizette Stakes (G1) at Belmont. By the Moon opened the season with a runner-up finish in the Barbara Fritchie Stakes (G2) in February at Laurel Park. After a break, she scored in the Vagrancy Handicap (G3) May 5 at Belmont, then picked up her second straight graded stakes win Friday.
Bred in Kentucky, By the Moon is out of multiple stakes winner By the Light, by Malibu Moon.