Agave Racing Stable and Wilke’s Ransom the Moon rallied on the far outside in the stretch to win the Grade I $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes for the second straight year, again defeating Roy H, 2017’s Eclipse Award-winning champion sprinter, in the six-furlong dash at Del Mar.
Providing jockey Flavien Prat with his third triumph of the afternoon and an impressive fourth straight success in the Crosby, Ransom the Moon overhauled the competition with an impressive burst of speed which propelled him to a convincing two and one-quarter victory in 1:10.08.
Roy H, acclaimed last year’s top sprinter after his win in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint in November at Del Mar, was sent off as the 6-5 favorite under Kent Desormeaux and garnered the second spot by a half-length over longshot Touching Rainbows. Edwards Going Left was fourth in the field of eleven top sprinters.
Ransom the Moon, a six-year-old son of Malibu Moon trained by Phil D’Amato, went postward at 9-2 and returned $11.60, $5 and $3.80 and earned $180,000 with his sixth win in 24 lifetime outings. He also earned an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs in November since the Crosby is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier.
Roy H paid $3 and $2.60, while Touching Rainbows, also conditioned by D’Amato, returned $5.80 to show.
In Saturday’s supporting feature, the $150,000 California Dreamin’ Stakes for older California-bred runners, Gary Barber’s Fly to Mars came on strongly in the stretch to win under Prat.
Fly to Mars, send to the gate at 9-2, clicked by a length over Grecian Fire, stepping the mile and one-sixteenth on the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course in a blazing 1:39.50, bettering the course record of 1:39.52 set by Sidney’s Candy August 14, 2010.
Third, a half-length behind Grecian Fire, was B Squared, with Camino Del Paraiso checking in fourth in the field of eleven horses. Pee Wee Reese, the 2-1 betting choice, was seventh after setting the pace. Withdrawn was Soi Phet.
Bing Crosby Replay
Fly to Mars, a four-year-old gelding by Ministers Wild Cat trained by Peter Miller, returned $11.20, $5.80 and $4.80 after his fifth win in 14 starts. Grecian Fire paid $10.40 and $7, while B Squared paid $6.20 to show. Miller had a training triple, also winning with Kershaw in the fourth and Broome in the eighth.
The afternoon began with a noteworthy debut by Chasing Yesterday, half-sister to 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah. The two-year-old daughter of Tapit scored by four and one-quarter lengths under Mike Smith, racing five and one-half furlongs in 1:04.44. Owned by Summerwind Farms and trained by Bob Baffert, Chasing Yesterday paid $3 as a 1-2 favorite.