Moonlight d’Oro Wins Grade 3 Las Virgenes

Horse Racing Radar
Valerie Mellema
Valerie Mellema is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Sunday, February 7, 2021

Last year a Derby and Classic champ as well as Horse of the Year, this year a shot at the Kentucky Oaks. Being a shareholder of a horse in the Stable may not win you any big bucks, but it sure is a heck of a lot of fun. The owners of MOONLIGHT D'ORO were celebrating yesterday as their filly crossed the wire first rallying from last to take the win by 1 1/2 lengths. 

KALYPSO was the favorite and for good reason, but hey it's horse racing! The frontrunning filly went to the lead and set fractions of :23.25 and :47.47. She hit six furlongs in 1:12.72 and it became apparent that she wasn't going to sustain the lead. MOONLIGHT D'ORO came wide around the second turn and flew past the leader at the top of the stretch. She maintained her speed with ease as she took the win by 1 ½ lengths. 

The filly completed the mile in 1:38.01 with Flavien Prat in the irons. This was his third consecutive Las Virgenes win, previously winning on VENETIAN HARBOR and BELLAFINA. 

MORAZ finished third after getting stuck in traffic on the inside stalking much of the race. BRILLIANT CUT and HONOR AMERICA completed the order of finish. 

MOONLIGHT D'ORO'S victory scored her 10 points towards the Kentucky Oaks (G1), which will be ran on April 30th at Churchill Downs. With this performance, she has put herself in the rankings as a serious contender. 

MOONLIGHT D'ORO is trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella and the $200,000 Las Virgenes is her second consecutive victory since stretching out to the two turn distance. She broke her maiden at Los Alamitos Race Course in December. She was also successful in a pair of sprints last year at Del Mar.

The filly was a $620,000 purchase by Spendthrift Farm at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. She is the first stakes winner out of VENETIAN SONATA (by BERNARDINI). The mare is a half sister to stakes winners WILBURN and LA APPASIONATA.

Mandela now has three Las Virgenes wins on his record, having won it with Spendthrift's BEHOLDER and Golden Eagle Farm's LIKEABLE STYLE. The race was downgraded to a grade 3 stakes this year, but was previously a grade 1 and then dropped to grade 2 in 2016. It is now considered a prep race for the Santa Anita Oaks (G2), which will run April 3rd.


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