06/09/2017 6:25PM

By the Moon scores repeat victory in Bed o' Roses

Barbara D. Livingston
By the Moon and jockey Rajiv Maragh win the Grade 3 Bed o' Roses by three-quarters of a length.

ELMONT, N.Y. – By the Moon scored a stylish repeat victory in the Grade 3 Bed o' Roses at Belmont Park on Friday, holding off Mia Torri and Lightstream through the final furlong for an easier score than the three-quarter-length margin of victory suggests.

With Rajiv Maragh aboard, By the Moon stalked the pacesetting Mia Torri from the outside in the seven-furlong race for fillies and mares. She took control in upper stretch and looked as if she was going to pull away. But Maragh handled her with confidence to the wire to beat Mia Torri. It was another head back to Lightstream in third.

"The pace was slower than usual for this group of horses, and I didn't want to squeeze her when she made the lead," Maragh said. "I wanted to save something. Even though the margin was not that far, I felt there was more there."

By the Moon, 5, is in her fourth season of competition with trainer Michelle Nevin. She has won a stakes each year, with her most important score coming in the Grade 1 Frizette at 2.

By the Moon paid $4.50 to win as the favorite in the eight-horse field. She was timed in 1:23.46 after Mia Torri set fractions of 23.58 and 47.37 seconds.

Last year, Nevin went from the Bed o' Roses to the Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga with By the Moon, who finished second by a half-length to Haveyougoneaway. She said she might follow the same path this year.

By the Moon now has a record of 6-6-1 from 17 starts and earnings of $1.25 million.

"She showed up today, just like she always does," Nevin said. "I was just so confident in her today. Rajiv gave her a very good ride."

By the Moon, a daughter of Indian Charlie, was bred and is owned by the Jay Em Ess Stable of Samantha Siegel. She is out of the mare By the Light, who won nine stakes and $885,000 for Siegel.

Mia Torri and Lightstream raced well in defeat. After being overtaken by the winner, Mia Torri never stopped trying and was slowly coming back on at the finish.

Lightstream moved up to challenge four wide on the stretch turn, had aim at By the Moon through the stretch, but could not reach her while continuing with good courage to the finish.