congratulations, Moulin de Mougin!

It came as a bit of a surprise last month when Moulin de Mougin was entered in the Royal Heroine (GII).  She had not been having a bad year, by any stretch of the imagination.  She was coming in off of an allowance win, and had finished on the board in all of her turf tries this year.  Her only off-the-board finish was on the Santa Lucia Stakes, in which she finished fourth in a paid workout for dirt route dynamo Beholder.  She was doing well, and an ungraded stakes seemed more than logical, but trainer Richard Mandella went for the gusto and put her in the Royal Heroine.  Clearly he saw what he needed to see: Moulin de Mougin finished third, just 2 1/4 lengths behind multiple graded stakes winner Parranda.

That race was at a flat mile, a distance at which Moulin de Mougin had never won.  That attempt showed her class, and Mandella placed her in a perfect spot today: the John C. Mabee Stakes (GII) at a mile and an eighth.  Her maiden win was a sprint down the hill at Santa Anita, as befits a daughter of Cambiocorsa.  However, her next two were allowance wins at nine furlongs, as befits a daughter of Curlin.

She went off at 8/1, the second longest shot in the field of six.  Early in the race, she settled easily in fifth, about half a dozen lengths off of Wishing Gate’s pace.  She closed in with the field approaching the far turn, but was still not hurrying.  Stormy Lucy made an early move, angling outside from last to charge at the lead, and both Miss Serendipity and Cozze Up Lady went with her.  That left Moulin de Mougin in last as the field turned for home.  Wishing Gate repelled that little cavalry charge.  Mike Smith waited just a bit longer with Moulin de Mougin, sending her as the field was in the stretch and approaching the mouth of the inner chute.  She split between Every Way and Wishing Gate, moving best of anyone in the field, and eclipsed Wishing Gate late.  She won by a widening half-length.

Moulin de Mougin is a four-year-old filly out of the Avenue of Flags mare Cambiocorsa.  As much success as Curlin’s progeny has had on the track, Moulin de Mougin has become only the second North American graded stakes winner by Curlin, joining Palace Malice (Palace Rumor, by Royal Anthem).  Worldwide, she became the fourth.  Curlin baby Lucky First (Dragon Fly, by Sadler’s Wells) is a Group I winner in Russia, and Zimniy Dvorets (Stolen Prayer, by Songandaprayer) is a Group II winner in Russia.

Congratulations, Moulin de Mougin!

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