11/29/2012 3:17PM

Aqueduct: Recent purchase Moonlit Malibu has pacesetter in Garland of Roses

Barbara D. Livingston
Kid Kate, a stakes winner all four years she raced, will be making her final career start in the Garland of Roses.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Owner Jerry Jamgotchian spent $75,000 to purchase the multiple stakes-winning filly Moonlit Malibu out of the recent Keeneland November sale. He will be seeking a quick return on his investment when he runs Moonlit Malibu in Saturday’s $75,000 Garland of Roses Stakes at Aqueduct.

Moonlit Malibu and her stablemate Jelly Cable make a formidable entry in a seemingly wide-open renewal of the Garland of Roses, typically the first stakes run on the inner track. This year, the race will be run over the main track at six furlongs.

A field of eight was entered for the Garland of Roses, but trainer Todd Pletcher said Thursday he and owner Paul Pompa Jr. were leaning toward scratching Morrow Cove – the 3-1 morning-line second choice – in hopes of finding a race at a longer distance.

Moonlit Malibu made her previous 20 starts for Country Life Farm and trainer Michael Trombetta, posting a 7-5-2 record and earnings of $251,788. She won back-to-back renewals of the Municipalities Mayors Handicap at Charles Town, a track at which she recorded five of her seven career victories. Last year, at 3, Moonlit Malibu shipped to Aqueduct, where she finished second to Dance Quietly in the Busanda Stakes.

Eric Reed, who trains for Jamgotchian, said he and his owner were torn between the Garland of Roses and Saturday’s $50,000 Holiday Inaugural Stakes at Turfway, where Reed is based.

“We want to try to get her New York black type, if possible,” Reed said.

To make that hope more possible, Jamgotchian and Reed will run Jelly Cable as a pacesetter, or rabbit. Reed said Jelly Cable got stepped on and hurt her foot when she was beaten 5 1/2 lengths in a $40,000 claiming race in October at Keeneland.

“We expect her to set the pace,” Reed said.

Singlet, who won two stakes over the inner track last winter, looks like the other primary speed in the field. Singlet showed sharp speed with blinkers added when second to Say a Novena in the Miss Woodford at Monmouth on Sept. 1. A 3-year-old, Singlet will be taking on older fillies for the first time.

“She’s fresh and really good, we’ll see where she fits with older horses,” trainer Tony Dutrow said.

The Garland of Roses will mark the final career start of Kid Kate, a stakes winner from ages 2 through 5 for Dell Ridge Farm and trainer Chad Brown.

Kid Kate was third behind My Wandy’s Girl in the Pentelis Stakes here Nov. 15.

“She’s been really consistent for us, we’ll give her one more start and hopefully go out a winner,” Brown said.

Kid Kate will break from the outside post under Eddie Castro as the co-highweight at 121 pounds along with Moonlit Malibu.

Delightful Quality, Curlina, and Withgreatpleasure complete the field.