May 8, 2021

Harvest Moon, As Time Goes By top small Santa Margarita field

Harvest Moon
Harvest Moon and jockey Flavien Prat win the Zenyatta Stakes (G2) (Benoit Photo)

Santa Margarita S. (G2) — Race 8 (7:30 p.m. ET)

Harvest Moon outfinished an unlucky Swiss Skydiver in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), but ran below par against the champion in her season debut last month. On Saturday, Harvest Moon will look to halt a brief losing skid in the $200,000 Santa Margarita S. (G2) at Santa Anita over 1 1/8 miles.

A late developer at three last season, Harvest Moon captured four of her first five starts, including back-to-back victories in the Torrey Pines (G3) and Zenyatta (G2). Fourth in the Breeders’ Cup in her season finale, the daughter of Uncle Mo reappeared in the Mar. 17 Beholder Mile (G1), but finished seven lengths behind Swiss Skydiver in fourth.

“She’s doing well and she probably needed her first race back a little bit,” Callaghan said. “This is definitely an easier spot than she’s been running in.”

As Time Goes By could make a case to the contrary. An even later developer than Harvest Moon, the Bob Baffert-trained daughter of American Pharoah nonetheless produced impressive back-to-back overnight wins at Los Alamitos and Santa Anita over the winter. In the Beholder Mile, she finished a clear second behind Swiss Skydiver after garnering more betting support than Harvest Moon.

Beholder Mile also-rans This Tea and Clockstrikestwelve appear unlikely to make considerable headway on either of the top two, though the lightly-raced Pharoah’s Heart has a decent shot to earn black type after placing in a pair of swiftly-run first-level allowances.