Kiss Moon wins again as Kentucky Downs meet concludes

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

September 19th, 2015

Saturday's $289,200 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf played out exactly like the June 6 Mint Julep H. (G3) at Churchill Downs, as Kiss Moon rallied from just off the pace to deny favorite I'm Already Sexy at the finish. The margin was a head in the 1 1/16-mile Mint Julep, but Kiss Moon extended it to a neck in the one-mile Ladies Turf under Corey Lanerie.

Owned by Carl Pollard and trained by David Vance, the four-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon completed the distance over firm ground in 1:36.18 and paid $12.60 to win. The three-year-old Sunset Glow, second choice at 2-1, finished third.

A close second in the Fantasy (G3) last season on the dirt, Kiss Moon has found greater success since switching to turf. This was her fourth stakes win on the surface, with a division of the Hatoof at Arlington and the TaWee at Indiana Grand preceding the Mint Julep and Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf.

A race like the $100,000 Cardinal H. (G3), at Churchill on November 21, might be one of the major fall goals for Kiss Moon.

Return to Grace, third in the Regret (G3) and a nose second in the Pucker Up (G3) in her first two stakes attempts, broke through in the $199,429 Dueling Grounds Oaks with a 1 1/2-length victory over Queen of Scat. Mild favorite Heath finished third in the field of 12.

Owned by Calumet Farm and trained by Mark Casse, Return to Grace paid $11.80 after Joe Rocco Jr. guided the filly in a time of 2:12.75 for 1 5/16 miles.

The daughter of English Channel might be pointed toward the $150,000 Valley View (G3) at Keeneland October 24 and/or the $200,000 Mrs. Revere (G2) at Churchill Downs November 14.

Despite having previously resided in the barns of Bill Mott and Mark Casse, the five-year-old mare Modernstone had not hit the board in 11 North American starts prior to the $140,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon.

New trainer Kelly Rubley got the daughter of Duke of Marmalade back on the winning track Saturday when she wore down Courtesan to win by three-quarters of a length at odds of 29-1. Dido, the 2-1 favorite, trailed the field of eight.

Ridden by Rafael Hernandez, Modernstone paid $61.20 after completing 1 5/16 miles in 2:13.12. She races for Brous Stable, Gary Barber, and Wachtel Stable.