Malibu Moonshine Returns In Maryland Juvenile Fillies, Faces MM Lassie Winner Chickieness - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Malibu Moonshine Returns In Maryland Juvenile Fillies, Faces MM Lassie Winner Chickieness

Malibu Moonshine

Happy Face Racing Stable's Malibu Moonshine, scratched as a top contender from last month's Maryland Million with a fever, returns to Laurel Park to make her Maryland and stakes debut in Saturday's $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Fillies.

The 36th running of the Juvenile Fillies and 41st edition of the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile, both seven-furlong sprints for Maryland-bred/sired 2-year-olds, co-headline a nine-race program that begins at 12:05 p.m.

Bred by Dr. Ronald Harris Parker, Malibu Moonshine is based in New York with trainer Charlton Baker, who captured the Feb. 19 Barbara Fritchie (G3) with Glass Ceiling in his first trip to Laurel since winning the 2017 Primonetta with Absatootly.

Malibu Moonshine, by Bourbon Courage, overcame a poor break to rally for a popular six-length maiden special weight triumph Sept. 11 at historic Pimlico Race Course in her only race to date.

“She always showed promise. She worked great coming up to that race,” Baker said. “We had her in Saratoga and we were planning on running her there. The owner suggested because she's a Maryland-bred that we ship her to Maryland to run her, so we did that.

“She ran pretty good. She broke not great but she didn't show her normal speed. I thought it was just a little greenness, but she sort of kicked in on the turn and won like we expected her to do,” Baker said. “She overcame a lot. It was a sloppy track and she took some dirt. She got a lot of experience for a horse that's had one start. It wasn't the strongest field, but she did what she had to do.”

Baker planned to bring Malibu Moonshine back for the Maryland Million Lassie Oct. 22, but the chestnut filly got sick and was withdrawn the morning of the race, won by Chickieness, who returns Saturday.

“She had a little setback when she was supposed to ship for the stake. She got a temperature that morning when we came in to get her ready, so that kind of gave her a little setback going forward,” Baker said. “But she's doing good. We missed a little time with her but she's good enough to get back racing, so we'll take a shot with her.”

Malibu Moonshine has had three timed breezes since missing the Lassie including a bullet five-furlong move in 1:00.20 Nov. 28 over the Belmont Park training track. Angel Cruz gets the riding assignment from the rail in a field of 11.

“She's been training good. Her last few works have been pretty good,” Baker said. “She always showed some potential in her works. She was a horse that we knew would be OK. She worked against some good horses and she did fine. She's a nice little filly and she's going to get better.”

Chickieness, bred in Maryland by trainer Jamie Ness' Jagger Inc., which co-owns the daughter of Blofeld with Morris Kernan, came with a steady run to register a 1 ½-length win as the favorite in the Lassie after finishing second to then-undefeated Bound by Destiny in a successive Delaware Park stakes. She has never been off the board in six starts.

Last out, Chickieness ran third in a Nov. 14 optional claiming allowance at Laurel to Tappin Josie, claimed out of that race for $62,500 by fall meet-leading trainer Brittany Russell, who is represented Saturday by Bosserati. The Joel Politi homebred was third in the Lassie after setting the pace and figures to be a factor up front once again.

After facing Chickieness and Bound by Destiny at Delaware, Louis J. Ulman's Skylar's Sister ran a strong second in the Lassie, less than a length ahead of Bosserati. She exits the same Nov. 14 optional claimer as Chickieness and Bosserati where she had to settle for fourth after finding trouble.

“What happened was she had some traffic early on and she had to wait and go around and was wide. The winner was really strong, but I didn't think we got beat that far for second,” trainer Dale Capuano said. “I think the ground we lost may have cost us second, but she tried. We'll give her a try in here and see what happens.”

Carlos Lopez, up in her last race, has the return call from Post 9.

“She's doing fine,” Capuano said. “She's run into some pretty nice horses, so I expect her to run one of her better races Saturday.”

Angel Art, Fast Tracked and Touisset all enter the Juvenile Fillies off maiden wins. Copper Penny Stables' Angel Art, trained by two-time Juvenile Fillies winner Mark Shuman, dueled through the stretch but held on for a three-quarter-length triumph while drifting in in a six-furlong maiden special weight Nov. 19 at Laurel. Queen of Song (2008) and Spotted Heart (2014) are Shuman's previous winners.

Greg Tatum's Fast Tracked was a determined maiden claiming winner over Cynergy's Electra Nov. 6 at Laurel going seven furlongs in her only start, while Paul Berube, Karen Linnell and Spinnaker Hill Farm's Touisset sprung a 12-1 upset of her six-furlong maiden claimer second time out Nov. 3 at Delaware Park.

JoAnn Smith's Gormley's Gabriela finished third at odds of 24-1 in the Nov. 12 Smart Halo at Laurel, her stakes debut. Her trainer, Hamilton Smith, previously won the Juvenile Fillies with Gin Talking (1999), True Sensation (2001), Pour It On (2003), Money Fromheaven (2018) and Luna Belle (2021).

Cynergy's Electra, younger half-sister to 2021 Timonium Juvenile winner Cynergy's Star, and maiden claiming winners Liquidator and Rowsie Express complete the field.

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