09/03/2012 5:54PM

Saratoga: Bond gets his filly after all

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - At the September 2011 Keeneland yearling auction, trainer James Bond and his longtime client William Clifton were the underbidders for a daughter of Malibu Moon out of the dam Red Hot Bertie. They stopped at $300,000, and the filly was purchased for $310,000 by B. Wayne Hughes of Spendthrift Farm.

A few months later, Bond was a guest of Hughes at a cocktail party that, in part, was to show off Spendthrift’s new stallions, which included the Bond-trained Tizway, winner of last year’s Metropolitan and Whitney handicaps.

At that party, Bond said Hughes wanted to send him a horse and told him to pick any horse that he wanted. He chose the Malibu Moon filly.

On Sunday, that filly, now named Cue the Moon, made a visually impressive debut, overcoming traffic in midstretch to win by one-half length. Cue the Moon ran seven furlongs in 1:24.30 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 72.

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“The only thing I was scared about was the one hole,” Bond said. “She’s just a very talented, talented filly.”

With the Keeneland September yearling sale a week away, Bond will again visit Hughes to discuss future plans for Cue the Moon.

“She’s an awfully big filly, she came back great,” Bond said Monday morning. “I don’t want to be foolish. I think she’s going to be a great 3-year-old. I don’t want to rush her off her feet.”