La Moneda uncoils best closing kick in Yaddo Stakes

Friday, August 24th, 2018

NYRA/Elsa Lorieul

By Sarah Mace

Up-and-comer La Moneda, riding a three-race win streak, took the next logical step and tested stakes company on Friday’s New York Showcase day at Saratoga, lining up with a formidable group of New York-bred fillies and mares to contest the $150,000 Yaddo Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf. The experiment proved to be an overwhelming success, when the 5-year-old daughter of top New York-based sire Freud (Sequel Stallions New York) outkicked some very accomplished rivals to win by a neck.

A homebred for Patricia Moseley, La Moneda has spent her career shuttling between the barns of Brendan Walsh — for whom she broke her maiden second out last September 29 — and Tom Morley. Morley explained that he has the mare when Walsh, who does not keep a string in New York year-round, is not in the state.

In either case, patience has certainly paid off with La Moneda, who did not start until she was four. Winner of two of four starts in 2017, she galloped through her remaining state-bred and open conditions this year, winning a second-level state-bred allowance at Belmont on June 9, an entry-level open allowance on June 30 and, at Saratoga, a second-level open allowance. All three wins came at one mile on turf.

On the strength of La Moneda’s talent and sharp form, by post time she was the second betting choice of the eight fillies and mares. Chad Brown-trained Fifty Five was the even-money favorite. Voted champion New York-bred turf female in 2017 and a graded winner, Fifty Five herself was in top-notch form having finished first or second in her four most recent starts. Fifty Five also has a devastating late kick which, in theory, could have been a an obstacle for La Moneda, who has the same running style.

After the bell both La Moneda and Fifty Five settled in mid-pack in fourth and fifth, respectively, while confirmed speedster Lady Joan, a stakes winner in her own right, outsprinted the field from her outside post, crossed over and showed the way. On the backstretch the field became quite strung out, leaving La Moneda as much as nine lengths behind Lady Joan at one point.

The relative positions of Lady Joan, La Moneda and Fifty Five remained unchanged though solid fractions of 23.25, 47.34 and 1:11.21. The pack tightened up considerably early on the far turn, and Moneda advanced into third in the bend. In the stretch, things really began to pop.

By mid-stretch Lady Joan still enjoyed a one-length lead over Overnegotiate, who had dogged her steps throughout, but La Moneda had gained momentum in the clear, and the ever-dangerous Fifty Five kicked into gear further out on the grandstand side.

Overnegotiate faded leaving the main three to duke it out. Lady Joan was dead game on the inside, but La Moneda extended her stride, caught up past the sixteenth marker and at the same time managed to outkick Fifty Five. La Moneda got the win by a neck, while Lady Joan and Fifty Five finished just noses apart second and third.

Completing the order of finish were War Canoe, Tizzelle, Overnegotiate, Feeling Bossy and Purrageous Dyna. After a mile in 1:34.54, La Moneda stopped the clock after nine furlongs at 1:40.49. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Winning rider Junior Alvarado reported, “She broke good. I thought going into the first turn I was sitting in a perfect position. It was like a dream trip. At the half-mile [pole] I started letting her go a little bit just to make sure the horse in front [Lady Joan] didn’t go away from me, and at the same time trying to save a little bit for the end just to make sure I can hold off [Fifty Five].

The pilot continued, “She was there for me the whole way. Everything I asked of her, she was up to the challenge. She ended up winning and I thought she deserved it. I knew I was going to get the horse in front at the eighth pole; I wanted to ride hard but at the same time try to save a little bit in case the horse in behind tried to catch me. I had to time it right, but she was so good. She was there for me.”

Morley reported that he and Walsh have been comparing notes all along. “Brendan told me before she debuted here last year, ‘I think I have a New York bred in my barn who can win a graded stakes.’ We’ve taken our time and picked our spots, but she just keeps getting better and better. I think she’s good enough to win a graded stakes. But today was the aim, and that was a massive performance.”

As to the race itself Morley said, “The whole way down in front of us, I was worried about catching the horse in front of us [Lady Joan]. Junior was very confident. It was a super ride.”

Even after his huge win in the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes last weekend with Donegal Racing’s Carrick at longshot odds of 38-1, Morley fully appreciated the Saratoga score.

“They don’t come around, these good ones, all the time,” Morley said. “So, you have to appreciate them when they do. That was huge. Saratoga and a stakes win, it doesn’t come bigger than that to me.”

Long-time owner/breeder Patricia Moseley, who named La Moneda after a Chilean palace, takes especial pride in her homebred who, after being foaled in New York, was raised at Moseley’s farm in Hamilton Mass.

La Moneda’s dam is Jade Palace, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Jade Hunter bred by Moseley and her late husband James B. Moseley. Jade Palace has produced four winners from four foals to start, including a full-sister to La Moneda who is a stakes performer. The Moseleys also bred La Moneda’s second dam Topkapi whose family is Chilean. Jade Palace delivered a Freud filly this year on April 10.

A winner of six of nine starts with one runner-up finish, La Moneda’s earnings bankroll stands at $312,769.





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