Moonage Daydream goes all the way in Stewart Manor

Saturday, November 5th, 2022

Reylu Gutierrez played aggressive with Moonage Daydream and came away with front-running win in the Stewart Manor at Aqueduct. NYRA Photo.

By Paul Halloran and Tom Law

Trainer Jorge Abreu would prefer his horses not to be on the lead. Reylu Gutierrez had other ideas in Saturday’s $120,000 Stewart Manor Stakes at Aqueduct Saturday, gunning Moonage Daydream to the front from the rail and leading every step of the way to win the stakes for 2-year-old fillies.

Chris Larsen’s homebred Moonage Daydream completed a front-running New York-bred Saturday stakes double with an upset victory 6-furlong turf stakes

“I told him to break and I wanted to be forwardly placed, but I don’t like my horses on the lead,” Abreu said. “I hate that. He told me ‘if I lose this race, I’m going to be in trouble,’ and I said ‘You’re right.’ ”

The daughter of Candy Ride went right to the front under Gutierrez, clicked off strong fractions and drew away to a 1 ¼-length victory over odds-on favorite Redefined in the 6-furlong stakes. Moonage Daydream joined Vacation Dance, winner of the $120,000 Atlantic Beach, as state-bred stakes winners on the first Saturday of the Aqueduct fall meeting.

“You’ve got to be aggressive in New York. They didn’t bring me here today to take back,” Gutierrez said. “I was moving very comfortably. She got pretty brave. … It wasn’t like a quick :44 (half-mile split). She handled it really well.”

Moonage Daydream led Dontlookbackatall by a half-length through the opening quarter-mile in :22.30 before opening up by a length over that same foe to that half in :44.66. Dulcia, Georgees Spirit, Redefined and Recinto Rompere chased from there while Gutierrez braced for any late runs turning for home.

Redefined, the 7-10 favorite in the field of eight, made a strong wide run at the leader in the lane but was rebuffed inside the final furlong. Moonage Daydream won in 1:08.66. Redefined held second, a neck in front of Georgees Spirit with Dontlookbackatall fourth. Dulcia, Recinto Rompere, Showgirl Lynne B and Hurricane Debbie completed the field.

“She was very comfortable,” Gutierrez said. “She could have gone a bit farther. She galloped out really well. It was pretty great. I loved everything about her run today.”

Bred by 3C Stable LLC, Moonage Daydream is the third foal out of the winning Malibu Moon mare Elatha. Campaigned by 3 C’s Racing Stable, Elatha is the dam of the two-time winning 4-year-old New York-bred Declaration of War filly Guardian Moon and the 3-year-old New York-bred First Samurai filly Hikaru.

Eltha is also the dam of a yearling New York-bred colt by Gun Runner and a weanling New York-bred American Pharoah filly born Jan. 28. The yearling and weanling were also bred by 3C Stable LLC.

Moonage Daydream finished third in her debut, beaten 3 lengths by Little Linzee, in a state-bred 5 ½-furlong turf maiden in late July at Saratoga. She rebounded with a 1-length score Sept. 30 during the Belmont at the Big A meeting going 6 furlongs on the grass. Moonage Daydream earned $66,000 for the victory Saturday, boosting her bankroll to $111,870.

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