September 28, 2023

Ransom the Moon rolls late to defend title, stamp Sprint ticket in Bing Crosby

Ransom the Moon drew off to convincing repeat win in the Bing Crosby (G1) © BENOIT PHOTO

Ransom the Moon made it two straight wins in the $300,000 Bing Crosby (G1) at Del Mar, seizing upon a hot early pace with a torrid late run to score going away by 2 ¼ lengths. Reigning Sprint champion Roy H could not match strides with the winner in the stretch but secured runner-up honors for the second straight year.

Flavien Prat, who has now four straight editions of the Bing Crosby, was up for Phil D’Amato on Ransom the Moon, who earned an expenses-paid berth to November’s $2 million TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) for taking the “Win & You’re In” event. The winner was off as the 9-2 third choice among 11 runners and launched his bid leaving the far turn.

Ransom the Moon rated behind contested early splits in :21.93 and :44.78 and completed the 6-furlong distance in 1:10.08.

Winless since posting a 1 ½-length tally last year, the 6-year-old horse snapped a four-race losing streak. Ransom the Moon finished fifth in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Sprint and opened 2018 with a runner-up in April’s Kona Gold (G2) at Santa Anita and a fifth in the June 9 Met Mile (G1) at Belmont Park.

Roy H left the starting gate as the 6-5 favorite and finished a half-length better than 21-1 Touching Rainbows, who edged 11 Edwards Going Left by a head for third. It was another nose back to pacesetter St Joe Bay in fifth. American Anthem wound up sixth at 5-2.

An Ontario-bred son of Malibu Moon, Ransom the Moon is campaigned by Agave Racing Stable and Jeffry Wilke. He hails from the stakes-winning Red Ransom mare Count to Three, a daughter of 1990 Matriarch (G1) winner Countus In, and was bred by Sam-Son Farm.

With his third career stakes triumph, Ransom the Moon increased his earnings to $848,829 from a 24-6-7-1 record.

Bing Crosby Quotes

FLAVIEN PRAT (Ransom the Moon, winner) – “I was thinking I was riding this horse up too close. I might have been taking his kick away from him. So today I went a different way. We had a big field and I knew there would be some pace, so I sat back with him. Then he came running. I had a lot of horse.”

KENT DESORMEAUX (Roy H, second) – “He’s been off a while, so he might have needed this one. The boss (trainer Peter Miller) will go over him real well and get it figured out.”

GARY STEVENS (Touching Rainbows, third) – “I caught a flyer out of there and he was in a comfortable spot. Turning for home I thought I might even win it. Unfortunately, the oil light came on about the sixteenth pole.”

PHIL D’AMATO (Ransom the Moon, winner) – “This horse beat this field on the square. Roy H is a great horse, hats off to him. But my horse, since I gave him a freshening awhile back he has kind of become the horse of old. I was more focused on (his other horse, the third-place finisher) Touching Rainbows as the race developed, because he was in (contention) but then I saw Flavien (Prat) tip Ransom the Moon out and saw them steadily pick up speed. By the time they hit the top of the lane I thought Ransom the Moon was going to run them down.”