Florida-breds Ron the Greek, Eden’s Moon Win Grade 1 Stakes at Santa Anita


2012 – Florida-breds won two of the three Grade 1 stakes on the Santa Anita card as Ron the Greek took the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap and Eden’s Moon scored in the $250,000 Las Virgenes.

Making his 17th career start at 11 different tracks, Ron Greek flew to Southern California from his base at Payson Park in Florida with Bill Mott assistant Rudolphe Brisset to win his first career Grade 1 and first graded stakes since winning the Grade 3 Lecomte at Fair Grounds two years earlier.

Sent to the post as the 7-2 third choice behind 6-5 favorite Ultimate Eagle and Setsuko at 3-1, Ron the Greek and jockey Jose Lezcano rallied from 10th in the field 13 older horses, lacked running room in the far turn then found his best stride in the stretch to win by three-and-a-half lengths. Setsuko was second with Uh Oh Bango third.

Ron the Greek finished the mile-and-a-quarter in 2:00.41 on the fast track and paid $9.20 to win.

Ron the Greek also provided the first Grade 1 victory for owners Nils Brouos’ Brous Stable, Adam Wachtel’s Wachtel Stable and Jack T. Hammer, who also bred the son of Full Mandate.

Out of the Fortunate Prospect mare Flambe, Ron the Greek would eventually produce 14 wins, six seconds and four thirds in 38 lifetime starts with earnings of $2,769,557.

Florida-bred Eden’s Moon – © Benoit Photo

Two races earlier, trainer Bob Baffert entered Eden’s Moon in the one-mile Las Virgenes off an 11 ½-length victory against special weight maiden fillies and the daughter of Malibu Moon responded with a three-and-a-quarter length victory for owner Kaleem Shah Inc.

Sent to the post as the 5-2 second choice with jockey Martin Garcia, Eden’s Moon led the entire way while being pressured by 6-5 favorite Reneesgotzip through quarter-mile splits of :23.16, :46.47 and 1:10.44. The two favorites bumped when passing the furlong marker then Eden’s Moon pulled away from her rival to win in 1:35.27 on the fast track.

Reneesgotzip held on for second, two-and-three-quarter lengths ahead of Open Water in third.

Eden’s Moon returned $7 on a $2 win ticket.

Bred in Florida by Bridlewood Farm, Eden’s Moon was out of Eden’s Causeway, by Giant’s Cause and finished her career winning three of nine starts with two seconds and two thirds with earnings of $387,216.

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