Neck of the Moon, a 6-year-old daughter of More Than Ready, saved her best for what may have been her final career start with a game neck victory in the $100,000 South Beach S. at Gulfstream Park.
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Trainer Chad Brown said after the win that Neck of the Moon could be retired and bred during the 2017 season, making Saturday's win even more special.
After placing in three stakes this year, Neck of the Moon had a wide trip in the South Beach. She rallied from seventh in the final half-mile, coming four-wide into the stretch and repelling the challenge of Sandiva (IRE) to win by nearly a half-length in 1:31 for the 7 1/2-furlongs on the turf.
“She’s been very consistent. She’s fired nearly every time I’ve run her this year; she’s just been very unlucky. Today, she got the trip she needed,” Brown said. “We told (jockey) Paco (Lopez) a few things about her, particularly her affinity to get outside if possible in a big field, and he executed it perfectly. I’m really proud of the ride he gave her and I’m proud of the filly for the effort she gave.”
Ultra-consistent throughout her career, Neck of the Moon is now 5-6-6 in 22 starts and has earned $402,312 for her owner Hidden Brook Farm.
More Than Ready's career stakes winners now number 169 worldwide, second only to Giant's Causeway among North American sires.