06/25/2016 5:25PM

Moment of Delight fires fresh in Boca Chica

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Kenny Martin/Coglianese Photos
Moment of Delight, making her first start in five months, scores by 5 1/4 lengths under Eddie Castro in the Boca Chica.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -  Moment of Delight, showing no ill effects from a five-month layoff, cruised to a convincing 5 1/4-length triumph over Winning for Sarah in Saturday’s $75,000 Boca Chica Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Jockey Eddie Castro hustled Moment of Delight right from the outset to force the early pace of the 8-5 favorite Dogwood Trail, pushing the Grade 3 winner to early splits of 22.08 and 44.65 seconds over the fast track. Moment of Delight readily overtook the tiring leader upon settling into the stretch, quickly opened a commanding advantage, and was not threatened thereafter.

Winning for Sarah rallied mildly to finish second, two lengths in front of Savingtime.

Moment of Delight, a 4-year-old daughter of A.P. Warrior, was  making her first start since finishing far back in the Sunshine Millions Distaff on Jan. 16 and first since being transferred to trainer Stanley Gold upon the retirement of her former mentor, Bill  Kaplan, earlier this spring. Owned by Pinnacle Racing Stable and Norman Stables, Moment of Delight paid $9.40 after completing 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:17.05.

“She had some issues going on, mostly health, not legs or anything like that,” said Adam Lazarus, managing partner for Pinnacle Stable, in the absence of Gold, who is recuperating from hernia surgery. “She’s always had talent. She’d been working well and I was thinking we’d probably see a good performance today, although you never know after five or six months off. But she showed up today.”

Lazarus credited Castro’s strategy of going right after the favorite from the outset as being key to the victory.

“That’s not usually her thing, being close early like that, but Stanley knew about his old horse [Dogwood Trail] in the one hole and didn’t want her to get away with an easy lead,” said Lazarus. “And that was the difference in the race.”