03/26/2013 4:00PM

Gulfstream Park: Bond crazy about Cue the Moon

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Jessica Hansen/NYRA
Cue the Moon (4) loses to My Happy Face in the Tempted Stakes.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer James Bond knows it's a tall order to run Cue the Moon off a 146-day layoff in Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Gulfstream Oaks at 1 1/8 miles against the likes of graded stakes winners Live Lively and Dreaming of Julia.

"But I think she's that good," Bond said.

Bond has been high on Cue the Moon since before she won her debut going seven furlongs at Saratoga last Sept. 2. She overcame a tough trip that day to beat Emollient, who has since come back to win 2 of 3 starts while finishing second in the Grade 2 Demoiselle and who will be in the Oaks field on Saturday.

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In her second start, Cue the Moon dueled all the way around the track with My Happy Face only to lose by a neck in the Grade 3 Tempted last Nov. 4 at Aqueduct.

"I love this filly, she's a special filly," Bond said early Tuesday morning at the Palm Meadows training center. "Second start of her life we had to take her out of her game to go with My Happy Face. I don't think she was really ready for that. She still overcame and almost got the job done. She's a big, gorgeous, long-striding machine. I think the mile and an eighth is what she's been waiting for. I've done my job and hopefully she'll do the rest."

Bond said he purposely stopped on Cue the Moon after the Tempted and was pointing her to the Davona Dale last month but didn't feel he had done enough with the filly to have her ready to win. Meanwhile, Live Lively won that race by 1 1/2 lengths over Dreaming of Julia. While Live Lively and Dreaming of Julia have the Kentucky Oaks in their sights, Bond is thinking longer term with races like the Coaching Club American Oaks and Alabama at Saratoga in mind.

"The Oaks is very important, it's not the end-all," said Bond, who noted that B. Wayne Hughes, the owner of Cue the Moon, also has 2-year-old filly champion Beholder pointed for the Kentucky Oaks. "She's a 3-year-old and there's a lot more money at the end than the beginning."

Rosie Napravnik, in to ride Shanghai Bobby in the Florida Derby, will ride Cue the Moon, Bond said.