Madison’s Luna was making just his second career start on Saturday in Gulfstream Park’s $100,000 Hutcheson Stakes (G3), but that didn’t stop the Philip Bauer trainee from dominating his five rivals.
Madison’s Luna settled into a stalking spot under jockey Julien Leparoux in third early as Belle Tapisserie and Tricks to Doo dueled up front through the opening quarter :22.42. It wasn’t long, though, before the gray son of Tapit ranged up to stick his head in front for the half-mile split of :45.43.
From there Madison’s Luna extended his margin, easily pulling away in the lane to be five lengths clear on the wire while stopping the clock in 1:10.45 over the fast dirt. He returned $11 for the win as the 9-2 fourth choice.
Soutache proved best of the rest, 2 1/4 lengths up on Tricks to Doo. It was another 7 1/4 lengths back to Belle Tapisserie, who was followed under the line by 8-5 favorite Impact Player and My Chinumado.
Campaigned by Rigney Racing LLC, Madison’s Luna made his career debut on February 10 at Tampa Bay Downs. The gray sophomore scored by 1 1/4 lengths on that occasion, and this win boosted his lifetime earnings to $73,180 to go along with a perfect two-for-two mark.
Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC, Madison’s Luna is out of the stakes-placed French Deputy mare Scarlet Tango, who has also produced Grade 1-scoring sire Visionaire, Grade 1 queen Tara’s Tango and Grade 3 vixen Scarlet Strike.
Philip Bauer, trainer Madison’s Luna, winner
“It was ambitious but we thought it was worth a try.
“I’m very pleased, maybe a little surprised how he did it. He left me a little surprised in his maiden win at Tampa too. He cruised up to the pretty honest pace. You’re always excited when they get to the quarter-pole in that manner. We were excited when (jockey) Julien (Leparoux) turned him loose and put a few (lengths) on them and maintained it.
“I think he’ll stretch out. We saw how he can relax behind horses. He does everything the right way, especially for a Tapit – sometimes they can be temperamental.
“The (May 5) Pat Day Mile ([G3] at Churchill Downs is next).”
Julien Leparoux, jockey Madison’s Luna, winner
“We had a good trip. We were sitting third and I got him outside before the first turn. He just took me there, traveling very nicely, and he had a very nice kick at the end.
“I was impressed especially for just his second start. He showed a lot of ability. I watched his race at Tampa and I thought he was pretty impressive there, too. He’s a nice horse, for sure.”
Earlier on Gulfstream’s Saturday card, Joseph Shields Jr.’s Elevenses rallied for a three-quarter length victory in the $75,000 Any Limit Stakes. The Jimmy Jerkens-trained daughter of More Than Ready ran six furlongs in 1:11.89 to prevail under jockey Luis Saez as the even-money favorite.
Elevenses has suffered only one loss thus far, and now boasts a 4-3-0-0, $109,650, career mark.