05/14/2010 11:00PM

Funny Moon foils favored Seattle Smooth

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Funny Moon, second entering the stretch under Alan Garcia, rallies to win the Shuvee by 2 3/4 lengths.

The two Grade 1 winners in Saturday's $147,000 finished first and second, but not in the order most bettors thought they would, as Funny Moon posted a decisive victory by 2 3/4 lengths over defending titlist Seattle Smooth in the Grade 2 race for fillies and mares at Belmont Park.

Funny Moon rose to prominence winning the Coaching Club American Oaks last year for trainer Christophe Clement, and had shown surprising early speed to begin her 4-year-old campaign in the Doubledogdare Stakes at Keeneland.

Funny Moon confirmed her newfound handiness to be no fluke, as she stalked from close range under Alan Garcia, while Solo Piano showed the way through fractions of 23.96 and 48.19 seconds down the backstretch.

Solo Piano clung to a narrow lead through six furlongs in 1:12.32, as Funny Moon crept ever closer, and Seattle Smooth, who had been taken to the outside after breaking from the rail, began her rally widest of all.

Funny Moon wrested command once straightened away into the lane, and quickly drove clear. She paid $7.70 as the clear second choice.

"She was calm and relaxed . . . turning for home she just took off," said Garcia

Seattle Smooth, the 3-5 favorite, drifted out past the quarter pole, but outfinished Milwaukee Appeal for second in her first start since winning the Ogden Phipps last June.

Solo Piano and Don't Forget Gil completed the order of finish.

"I told [Garcia], 'Wherever you are comfortable on the bridle, you'll be fine, whether that's on the lead or behind,' " said Clement. "She seems to run better if you can keep her together. Hopefully, I can keep her sound and well for the Phipps next time," referring to the Grade 1 race on June 12.

"She's a top-class filly," Clement said. "Unfortunately, she's rather anxious, so sometimes she loses her races beforehand, but today she was pretty good overall."

Funny Moon, who was excused from the post parade, won for the fourth time in five starts at Belmont, and ran the mile in 1:36.70 over a fast main track. A daughter of Malibu Moon, she earned $90.000 for Wick McNeely.