Updated on 09/16/2011 8:39AM

T J's Lucky Moon in Queens Plate shocker


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - T J's Lucky Moon, under a brilliant ride from Steven Bahen, captured the $1 million as the second-longest priced winner in the history of the race Sunday at Woodbine.

T J's Lucky Moon paid a whopping $166 to win in the 143rd running of the 1 1/4-mile test for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds. Only Maternal Pride ($193.35), the 1924 winner, returned more. A son of Tejabo, T J's Lucky Moon earned $600,000 for Molinaro Stable and trainer Vito Armata.

Streakin Rob set slow early fractions of :23.41 and :48.07 while being stalked by the expected pacemaker, Forever Grand. After breaking from post nine in the 13-horse field, Bahen steered T J's Lucky Moon to the rail nearing the clubhouse turn, and stalked the pace along the rail.

T J's Lucky Moon hit the front midway on the backstretch, through three-quarters in 1:13, and was joined on the far turn by Forever Grand. He began to edge away from that one at the sixteenth pole, and then held off a closing Anglian Prince to prevail by three-quarters of a length in a time of 2:06.88.

Forever Grand held third, while Ford Every Stream, the 2-1 favorite, was a non-threatening fourth. The order of finish was completed by Fuzzy Star, Shaws Creek, Barbeau Ruckus, Classic Mike, Adjalah, Twice Bid, Cree Power, Mountain Beacon and Streakin Rob. Bravely was scratched. All carried 126 pounds.

Bahen said he simply followed Armata's instructions.

"Vito said to just let him run his own race," Bahen noted. "He said not to take a hold of him, and that once you call on him, he'll come running, and he did. I didn't want to go wide, so I ducked him over towards the fence. I know that Streakin Rob tends to get out a little, so I was happy with where I was. When I got to the quarter pole, I started to pick him up, and he made it to the wire."

Jim McAleney said the pace scenario hindered the chances of his mount, Anglian Prince, who rallied four-wide from about six lengths in arrears.

"The race didn't unfold the way I wanted it to," said McAleney. "I had to take him back farther than I wanted to just to save a little ground going into the (clubhouse) turn, but he responded well."

T J's Lucky Moon, who was coming off a win in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight event, has now earned $647,760 in six starts. He was bred in Ontario by his owner.

The exactor paid $2,267.50, and the triactor was worth $15,375.50. The superfecta returned $29,678.35.