Well-Regarded 4YO Ridgling Lasts in First Race in 51 Weeks
BALTIMORE – K E M Racing Stable and Five Hellions Farm’s H P Moon, racing for the first time in 51 weeks, overcame a belated break and the late challenge of Magic Mule to return a winner in Sunday’s featured open allowance sprint at Laurel Park.
Ridden by Jevian Toledo for trainer Lacey Gaudet, 4-year-old ridgling H P Moon ($4) went off as the even-money favorite in a field of eight, covering six furlongs in 1:12.89 over a fast main track for his second win from just three career starts.
H P Moon was bumped and broke last but was hustled to the front by Toledo and went the opening quarter-mile in 23.53 seconds, chased by 25-1 long shot E J’s Revenge with Magic Mule tracking in third. Magic Mule moved up to second after a half-mile in 47.66, when H P Moon began to gain separation from the field.
Toledo set H P Moon down for a drive once straightened for home and was able to withstand a closing run from Magic Mule approaching the wire to win by a nose. Sponsored, the 2-1 second choice, was another 3 ¼ lengths back in third.
H P Moon was set to make his debut in July 2021 at Saratoga but an identification mixup led to his being scratched. Instead, the son of Malibu Moon was unveiled in a maiden special weight the following month at historic Pimlico Race Course, airing by 9 ¾ lengths in front-running fashion as the 2-5 favorite.
That fall H P Moon went to the sidelines after having minor surgery to remove an ankle chip, returning to the work tab in time to make his 3-year-old debut in the seven-furlong Spectacular Bid last Jan. 29 at Laurel. H P Moon led for a half-mile before fading to be sixth.
H P Moon remained in training until late March of last year, returning to the work tab in mid-November at Laurel. He had 10 timed breezes heading into Sunday’s return including back-to-back bullet moves Jan. 11 and 18.
Notes: Jockey Jevian Toledo registered a hat trick Sunday aboard Collection Day ($4.20) in Race 4, H P Moon ($4) in Race 8 and Miss You Ajax ($10) in Race 9 … H P Moon was the second of two winners for trainer Lacey Gaudet, following Oxide ($4.40) in Race 2 … There will be a carryover of $3,891.37 in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 when live racing returns to Laurel Park Friday, Jan. 27. Multiple tickets with all six winners Sunday returned $117.14.