10/04/2014 3:34PM

By the Moon shocks in the Frizette

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Tom Keyser
By the Moon splashes to an upset victory under Jose Ortiz in the Grade 1 Frizette.

ELMONT, N.Y. -- The East Coast 2-year-old filly division got turned upside down Saturday as By the Moon, a well-beaten second in the Grade 1 Spinaway in the slop at Saratoga, splashed her way to a 2 1/4-length victory in Saturday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park.

Wonder Gal finished second, a length ahead of Feathered.

Meanwhile, Condo Commando, who relished the slop in Saratoga to win the Spinaway by 13 1/4 lengths, finished a non-threatening fourth. Cavorting, undefeated winner of the Grade 2 Saratoga Special, finished last of seven after setting the early pace.

By the Moon’s triumph was not only the first Grade 1 victory for trainer Michelle Nevin but also earned By the Moon a fees-paid berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.

As owner Samantha Siegel is based on the West Coast, Nevin said, “I imagine she’s going to want to go.”

Jose Ortiz, the rider of By the Moon, said his filly handled the slop at Belmont much better than she did at Saratoga. In the Frizette, she broke alertly and stalked Cavorting through a quarter in 22.66 seconds and a half-mile in 46.11

By the Moon, a daughter of Indian Charlie, took over leaving the three-furlong marker and despite running a final quarter in 27.94 seconds, By the Moon was never seriously challenged. Sent off the sixth choice in the seven horse field at 24-1, By the Moon returned $50.50 to win. She covered the mile in 1:39.42 over a sloppy track.

“By the three-eighths pole I had a lot of horse. I said I can’t wait no more because I see [Cavorting] being asked already, I got to go,” Ortiz said. “I let my filly roll and she put herself on the lead and I had to do my job and ride her hard.”

Ortiz said he didn’t feel By the Moon handled the slop in Saratoga, but Nevin felt she ran her race that day.

“The race she ran in Saratoga, she was wide, she was chasing a pretty speedy filly over a speed-favoring track, she still ran her race and kept coming,” Nevin said. “Today she was a little bit sharper and went right to it.”

Conversely, jockey Joe Bravo said Condo Commando did not handle the Belmont slop the way she did the Saratoga slop. Saturday, Condo Commando bobbled a step or two out of the gate and was, for the most part, spinning her wheels.

“The whole race she wasn’t getting ahold of the footing at all,” Bravo said. “No disrespect -- the winner’s a nice horse -- but turning for home we were all crawling. We fell apart the last eighth of a mile and still my filly was right there with them; she just didn’t like the surface. I believe I was on the best horse, but when they don’t like the footing and can’t get ahold of the footing it’s two different worlds.”

Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said Cavorting was simply too keen for her own good in the early stages of the race and also didn’t seem to care for the wet surface.

Ian Douglas More than 1 year ago
Amazing that you already convicted her of a crime and she was not even suspected of anything. I think congratulations are more in order.
Pete Sundar More than 1 year ago
Michelle Nevin took out her trainer's license the day her boyfriend Rick Dutrow was suspended. Eighteen months later and presumably under slick Rick's guidance and supervision - she is now the new SUPER TRAINER. And people wondered why this is a dying sport...
Jack More than 1 year ago
Pete... what is her record as a trainer? It doesn't take much "class" to make a statement like that. These are 2 year old fillies who can improve dramatically in a matter of a few weeks. A better question might be reserved for BC day when they run without Lasix. Then, we may see who the best trainers are and how they prepare their horses.
Pete Sundar More than 1 year ago
Jack, you now have your answer !