Updated on 12/26/2015 6:03PM

Moonin the Eagle tops qualifiers for Hialeah Maturity

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Moonin the Eagle, ridden by Ricky Ramirez, outfinishes Rattle N Battle by half-length in 21.917 for 440 yards in trials for the Hialeah Maturity.

The 3-year-old colt Moonin the Eagle picked up right where he left off last winter by running the fastest qualifying time during trials for the Hialeah Maturity on opening day of the 2015-2016 Quarter Horse meet Saturday at Hialeah Park.
Moonin the Eagle, who won his career debut at Hialeah last Dec. 27 in trials for the $417,000 Hialeah Derby, ran 440 yards in 21.917 seconds Saturday in the fourth and final trial heat for 3-year-olds vying for berths in the $100,000 Hialeah Maturity on Jan. 17.
Ridden for the first time by Ricky Ramirez, Moonin the Eagle ($2.80) outdueled Rattle N Battle to score by a half-length for his fourth win in 11 career starts for trainer Rolando Almanza.
At last season’s meet, Moonin the Eagle finished second in the Hialeah Derby and won the South Florida Quarter Horse Derby.
Rattle N Battle, winless in seven starts this season and 1 for 17 lifetime, still managed to post the second fastest qualifying time of 21.986 seconds.
Other heat winners were Premier Ethics ($5), who scored by three-quarters of a length with a time of 22.010 to improve to 8 for 9 lifetime; DeMille ($15.40), a head winner over Marava Vegas in 22.131; and Yurman ($11.20), who snapped a seven-race losing streak dating to July 2014 with a half-length win in 22:255, the ninth fastest qualifying time.
Even with two heavy favorites completing the sequence, the all-trials 50-cent pick four paid $795.50.

Daytona B cuises in Bienvenido De Neuvo

Odds-on favorite Daytona B ($2.20), with Ramirez riding, dominated the $25,000 Bienvenido De Neuvo Stakes, covering 330 yards in 16.68 seconds and winning by 1 1/4 lengths over 40-1 outsider Talktomeson. It was the third straight stakes win since April for the 4-year-old Daytona B, who is now 9 for 18 lifetime and 4 for 5 at Hialeah, including the $100,000 Sam Abbey in March.


Prewitt set to become new voice of Hialeah
The meet opened with the familiar voice of Pete Aiello at the microphone, but Aiello will be leaving after the Jan. 10 card to begin his new job as the announcer at Oaklawn Park. Aiello will retain his position as director of simulcasting at Hialeah.
Aiello’s replacement at Hialeah will be Gabe Prewitt, 32, who is in his third season as the announcer for the harness races at Pompano Park in South Florida. Prewitt will continue to call the evening races at Pompano. He has experience calling Quarter Horse races at The Red Mile in Lexington, Ky.