09/30/2013 2:03PM

Woodbine notes: Moonlit Beauty proves doubters wrong in Classy ’n Smart repeat

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Michael Burns
Moonlit Beauty won her 10th career race, and fifth stakes, in the Classy ’n Smart while boosting her career bankroll to $665,154.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – One could have been forgiven for thinking that Moonlit Beauty was past her “best before” date heading into last Sunday’s Classy ’n Smart Stakes.

After all, Moonlit Beauty had finished no better than fourth in her four previous starts this season and had been beaten by double-digit lengths in her two most recent stakes appearances.

But then Moonlit Beauty went out and did what Moonlit Beauty does best, leading throughout the 1 1/16 miles at odds of 8-1 under David Moran to score for the second consecutive year in the $126,200 Classy ’n Smart for Ontario-sired fillies and mares.

“She ran well,” said John LeBlanc, who trains the homebred Moonlit Beauty for Bill Gierkink. “David said he couldn’t pull her up.”

LeBlanc admitted that he had wondered if Moonlit Beauty still had what it takes heading into the Classy ’n Smart.

“You give so many excuses, eventually you just have to say she’s past her prime,” said LeBlanc, who also had sent out Moonlit Beauty to run second in the 2011 renewal of the Classy ’n Smart. “She was working well, but she’s been doing that all year. You have to look at the facts – does she still have the desire?

“She does. She’s restored our faith.”

Moonlit Beauty won her 10th career race, and fifth stakes, in the Classy ’n Smart while boosting her career bankroll to $665,154.

Her next scheduled assignment will be the $150,000 Maple Leaf, an open stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/4 miles here Nov. 2.

Moonlit Beauty ran third in last year’s Maple Leaf after setting the pace into the final furlong.

Silent Star a solid second

Trainer David Bell had been on the fence with Silent Star heading into the Classy ’n Smart.

Silent Star, owned by the CEC Stable of Kevin and David Beswick, also had been eligible for a 1 1/16-mile restricted allowance here Wednesday evening for fillies and mares who were nonwinners of three.

“I’d nominated for the Classy ’n Smart and thought about it and looked at and looked at it,” Bell said. “It looked pretty deep. Then I heard that Barb’s filly [Strut the Course, who would have been one of the Classy ’n Smart favorites] had gone wrong, and I thought, ‘Well, that’s one nice filly out of there.’

“Then, it got a little more tempting.”

In the end, the nonwinners of three did not fill. But Bell already had made up his mind at that point and sent out Silent Star to finish a solid second when making her two-turn debut in the Classy ’n Smart.

“We were very happy,” Bell said. “It kind of looked like if somebody had gone with that other filly, it might have helped some of the others and us.”

Silent Star has been nominated to the $150,000 Carotene, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for Ontario-bred 3-year-old fillies here Oct. 12, but is not scheduled to participate.

“It looks like a tough race, too,” Bell said. “To come back in two weeks is probably the wrong thing to do.

“She’ll probably go back to her conditions now.”

Bell also will be keeping a long-term eye on the $150,000 Jammed Lovely, a seven-furlong race for Ontario-bred 3-year-old fillies here Nov. 16.

Regal Conqueror unbeaten

Regal Conqueror, who had been an impressive debut winner at six furlongs here Sept. 7, moved into Ontario-sired stakes company for her second start in last Saturday’s six-furlong Victorian Queen.

And while Regal Conqueror’s running style deviated slightly from her front-running opener, the outcome was the same as the 2-year-old filly Regal Conqueror forced the pace into the turn before taking charge and going on to a 2 1/2-length score under rider Eurico Rosa Da Silva.

“It was a pretty tiring race for her,” said Darwin Banach, who trains the homebred Regal Conqueror for Bill Sorokolit. “She was clipped coming out of the gate, and it cut up her leg a bit, but it didn’t seem to bother her.

“Then she had to put away that other speed horse and kicked on from there. She never really got a break.”

The $125,000 South Ocean, a 1 1/16-mile race here Nov. 24, is the next stakes for the Ontario-sired 2-year-old filly set.

“The South Ocean is the most realistic spot, but it’s a long time between now and then,” Banach said. “We can always think about the Princess Elizabeth, too.”

The Princess Elizabeth, also at 1 1/16 miles but for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies, is worth $250,000 and will be run here Nov. 2.

In the meantime, Regal Conqueror is the only foal to race thus far for Sky Conqueror, who was Canada’s champion turf male of 2006 and currently has a perfect record at stud.

Ross happy with Lexie Lou

Owner-trainer John Ross was pleased with the Victorian Queen performance of Lexie Lou, who rallied from last place in the field of seven to get up for second money under regular rider Gary Boulanger.

“The only thing was she was caught wide; that could have hurt our chances,” Ross said. “But the bottom line is I’m excited about this filly going long; I can’t wait.

“If things are going good, my intentions are to run her in the Princess Elizabeth and then take her to the South Ocean.”

Go Greeley targets Grey

Ross also is looking forward to Saturday’s Grey Stakes, in which he plans to send out Go Greeley to try two turns for the first time.The 1 1/16-mile Grey, an open race for 2-year-olds, offers Grade 3 status and purse of $150,000.

Go Greeley, also owned by Ross, is riding the crest of three consecutive sprint stakes victories, the most recent being the 6 1/2-furlong Simcoe for products of the local yearling sale here Aug. 28.

“He had his big work for the race the other weekend,” said Ross, who had sent out Go Greeley to breeze seven furlongs in 1:28.40 here Sept. 22.

“I might let him blow out a little this week, two or three furlongs through the lane.”

Boulanger was aboard Go Greeley for that recent workout and has the call for the first time in the Grey.

Da Silva, who had ridden Go Greeley through his five outings to date, will be at Keeneland this weekend.