05/21/2017 9:02PM

Moonless Sky promoted to first in Fran's Valentine


ARCADIA, Calif. - Pacific Heat was a clear winner of Sunday’s $125,690 Fran’s Valentine Stakes for California-bred turf females at Santa Anita, but was disqualified for causing interference in early stretch.

Pacific Heat rallied wide to win by 2 1/4 lengths, but drifted to the inside in the stretch, forcing the riders of Moonless Sky, Shehastheritestuff, and Cheekaboo to check their mounts. Pacific Heat, the 9-5 favorite, was demoted after an inquiry.

Moonless Sky, Roo’s Valentine, Ticaboo, Shehastheritestuff, and Cheekaboo were the original second- through sixth-place finishers and were all promoted one position. Pacific Heat was disqualified to sixth.

Steward Scott Chaney said the inquiry focused on whether the affected horses were cost a better placing by the interference. Cheekaboo finished a head behind Shehastheritestuff for fifth-place, the final position in which prize money is paid.

“She won for fun, but in the process, interfered with three other horses,” Chaney said of Pacific Heat.

Chaney said that he and fellow stewards Grant Baker and Kim Sawyer agreed unanimously to disqualify Pacific Heat, who was ridden by Flavien Prat.

Pacific Heat and Cheekaboo are trained by Peter Eurton and are owned by partnerships. Sharon Alesia, Burns Racing, and Joe Ciaglia have ownership shares in both fillies.

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Moonless Sky ($15.60) had her stakes debut in the Fran’s Valentine. Trained by Eddie Truman for Pappas Racing, Moonless Sky was ridden by Kent Desormeaux.

Moonless Sky was fifth or sixth for much of the race. In the final furlong, Moonless Sky was steadied when racing in traffic caused by Pacific Heat, but closed to finish second, a half-length in front of Roo’s Valentine.

Moonless Sky, 4, is the first stakes winner for Bold Chieftain. Moonless Sky was winless in four starts in Florida in 2016 and in January. She is unbeaten in three starts for Truman – including a maiden race on March 9 and a starter allowance on April 28.

Moonless Sky has won 3 of 7 starts and earned $147,010. She was second in a $25,000 claiming race for maidens in her debut last year.