05/02/2014 5:53PM

Moonshine Mullin upsets Alysheba; Will Take Charge sixth

Justin N. Lane
Moonshine Mullin, with Calvin Borel aboard, takes the Alysheba Stakes by a half-length Friday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Moonshine Mullin, beaten in a $25,000 claiming race last summer at Remington Park, became a Grade 2 winner and did it with style Friday at Churchill Downs, digging in gamely to register a half-length decision over Golden Ticket in the $300,000 Alysheba.

Will Take Charge, returning to Churchill Downs for the first time since winning the Grade 1 Clark Handicap in his 3-year-old finale, finished sixth as the 3-5 favorite.

Moonshine Mullin, a 6-year-old son of Albert the Great who ran second as a 3-year-old in the 2011 Jim Dandy, was claimed by trainer Randy Morse for $40,000 for owner Randy Patterson last fall at Remington. Moonshine Mullin lost his next two starts before embarking on a three-race winning streak, with each of those victories coming at Oaklawn Park.

With Calvin Borel aboard on Friday, Moonshine Mullin set the pace along the rail while stalked by Appealing Tale. Moonshine Mullin disposed of that rival nearing the quarter pole but was quickly set upon by Golden Ticket, who stuck his head in front turning for home and appeared ready to pull away to victory. But Moonshine Mullin reasserted himself, got back on even terms with Golden Ticket near the sixteenth marker, and was edging away at the end. Coin Broker raced wide and was best of the others, finishing another 3 3/4 lengths lengths behind Golden Ticket in third. Mylute, ridden by Rosie Napravnik, finished fourth.

Will Take Charge never seemed to get untracked while pinned down near the inside the entire trip. 

“We got into the first turn okay, but I wasn’t happy down inside and he wasn’t happy down inside,” said Gary Stevens, who rode Will Take Charge for the first time in the Alysheba. “I got an opportunity to get him out in the clear at the five-eighths pole, but immediately Rosie came up on the outside of him,  putting pressure on him, and he wasn’t liking it. He just never got into that big, beautiful rhythm we’re used to seeing.”

Moonshine Mullin ran 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:42.83 and paid $15.80.

“His last race was just huge," said Morse. "It wasn’t against this caliber of horses, but he really stepped it up. He’s been doing well, and then we drew the 1 hole, which was a huge plus. He’s been a good horse in the past - he ran second in the Jim Dandy as a 3-year-old. He’s had some class before and he’s finding it back now. The only thing we’ve changed with him is that we’ve started letting him run. We were trying to take a hold of him before. But he’s got a high cruising speed, and letting him just run seems to be working.”

Morse said he has nothing picked out at the moment for Moonshine Mullin’s next start.

mark oleary More than 1 year ago
Pretty unimpressive riding exhibition by Gary Stevens yesterday. He gets beat soundly on 2 year old champ She's A Tiger, blown away on heavt favorite, 3 year old champ, and stolen mount Will Take Charge (as Luis Saez was silently laughing), and tops it off by sitting in the gate and beating only one horse on highly regarded Fashion Plate, in the prestigious Kentucky Oaks. Wow, what a trifecta! I'm sure poor John Sadler is freaking out right about now about his chances in the Derby with Candy Boy. Karma is a powerful force!
Justin Mato More than 1 year ago
Golden Soul needs to retire...
Daniel Alvarado More than 1 year ago
For the first time ever I wasn't rooting for WTC because of the Saez thing...now I'm not saying that's the reason the horse lost today. He lost because Lukas the butcher hasn't given him a break since......EVER! This should not be a surprise to anyone.
Daniel Alvarado More than 1 year ago
It's called karma Lukas, and she's a B!
B More than 1 year ago
He seemed like another horse ever since they took blinkers off. This was a surprise. Didn't run a lick at any point.
GuyFleegman1 More than 1 year ago
Musical Jockeys cost D Wayne...plus he is going to run that horse into the ground...
Daniel Alvarado More than 1 year ago
As always
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good for Moonshine! Once again , the former claimer - and underestimated- proved that he is a good racehorse and was up to today's task.As with all claimers, Give them time, read them correctly, and they will perform - which sounds like the trainer's task. But that's the challenge and why u r a trainer, right? His current form was outstanding -regardless of he was racing against.
Lawrence MacSelwiney More than 1 year ago
It had nothing to do with Gary being up. Gary is twice the rider Saez is and he's one of the best money riders of all-time. The horse gave a big hint last race, that he was not in good form. He changed leads several times in the stretch and lugged in badly. Very uncharacteristic of him. See him in three months.
Jacqueline Schumacher More than 1 year ago
Indeed if ever again! His stud deal is already set, so that's not an issue--getting him back to the BCC in top form is. If DWL doesn't think it'll happen, expect a retirement announcement.
Lawrence MacSelwiney More than 1 year ago
I wouldn't be surprised by that.
Jim More than 1 year ago
Would be sweet justice if the owners moved the horse to Pletcher.
B More than 1 year ago
First time he's ever run bad without blinkers. I thought he was a lock against this bunch.
Daniel Garcia More than 1 year ago
Should have left Saez up.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
I'd vote for that..