Moondance scored a brave Maiden Special victory at Aqueduct on November 9. The three-year-old Malibu Moon filly was bred and raised by Sallusto & Albina for longtime client Newton Anner Stud.
Tracking in third off moderate early fractions under John Velasquez, Moondance took control rounding the far turn and was quickly joined by Sugarille. The New York-bred duo battled it down the stretch with Moondance always maintaining a slight advantage and she hit the line a nose clear of her rival. It was another 6 3/4 lengths back to third-place finisher Bayshore Beauty.
Moondance was consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales agency to the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale where she drew immediate and sustained attention. She was ultimately sold for $800,000, the highest-priced filly of the sale. Agent Steve Young signed the ticket on behalf of Ramona Bass and Cheyenne Stables, who have turned her over to leading trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
The winner is a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Red Hot Buddha MSW and a full to graded stakes-placed Cue the Moon.
“She is a full-sister to a horse who could really run,” Young explained back in 2015. “And, on her own merit, we think she is as nice a filly as there is. Malibu Moon has thrown some very good fillies in his own right. And we didn’t think it was a hard decision. She is a terrific filly.”
Bloodstock agents Nick Sallusto and Hanzly Albina are certainly familiar with Moondance’s extended female family which shows Beach Patrol, most recently second in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1). Beach Patrol was purchased by Sallusto & Albina privately in June of 2016 and has since reeled off a trio of Grade 1 victories and emerged as one of North America’s leading grass runners.
It’s been an especially successful autumn for Maurice and Samantha Regan’s Newton Anner Stud. In a deal brokered by Nick and Hanzly, they bought in on Caledonia Road before her emphatic victory in the November 4 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). That same afternoon, their promising Tapit son Dark Templar won his debut at Churchill Downs. The colt was also selected by the Sallusto and Albina bloodstock team from the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling sale.