New Orleans, La (Monday, March 27, 2023) – One odds-on and one at 17-1, Ron Faucheux saddled the winners of the Crescent City Derby and Oaks, both for $100,000 purses, on Louisiana Derby Day at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
“For me, it’s all about the Crescent City Oaks and Crescent City Derby,” Faucheux said. “So to sweep the Oaks and the Derby, wow, what a beautiful day.”
First, it was the odds-on favorite AllNight Moonlight ridden by Florent Geroux. Faucheux set owner Roger Smith to Derby dreaming when he picked out this son of Ransom the Moon at the 2021 Texas Thoroughbred Yearling Sale.
“At the sale, I told Roger we got a Derby horse,” Faucheux said. “I said we’re talking Crescent City Derby, that’s how we like to do it down here.”
Allnight Moonlight broke sharpest but it was Calibrachoa Kid who pressured and took the lead through :23.60 and :47.81 opening fractions. But when Geroux asked, Allnight Moonlight responded, taking the commanding lead and crossing the finish line in 1:45.82. Two and a half lengths back was Late September who was grinding home after settling back to last early on. Calibrachoa Kid hung on for third.
“Once the horse passed me it really wasn’t a concern,” Geroux said. “I decided to save some horse for the end but kept close and saved ground. I’ve worked the horse and I know he’s a very straightforward horse. He’s matured since winning the Half Ours. Ron has done a beautiful job–he had this horse ready for me today.”
In realizing his connections’ plans and notching his third win to go with two seconds in six starts, Allnight Moonlight’s lifetime earnings now stand at $157,000.
Backing Faucheux in the first of the day paid $3.40, $2.60, and $2.20. Rounding out the order of finish was I Don’t Venmo, Mangum, Mor Big Lee, and Benoit.
Getting 17-1 backing Faucheux’s Crescent City Oaks-winning filly Star Moment was surely a pleasant surprise for this 3-year-old’s supporters. Her first run on the lead certainly surprised her jockey Corey Lanerie, who doubled down winning the Costa Rising Stakes in Race 4.
“I absolutely did not (expect to be on the lead),” Lanerie said. “I thought there was other speed in the race. (Star Moment) ran really well on the turf, so the plan was to just get her within herself and let her run. I really thought I’d be coming from behind and picking up whatever we could. But she broke phenomenally and so I just took what came easy and when I asked her she had some more.”
Breaking sharply and striding out to the lead, Star Moment never looked back and never was menaced while she led by open lengths making the early calls in :23.74 and :47.52. Odds-on favorite Free Drop Maddy sat in second early but couldn’t endure the bid through 1 mile 70 yards to finish in the money. Extending her lead in the stretch, Star Moment won by 4 1/2 lengths over Alpine Mist and Louisiana Liberty who were picking up the pieces.
“She has been doing so good, before the race I felt like if it was on the turf, she’d win,” Faucheux said. “How she’d handle the dirt was the question. Being a quicker surface today I think she took a hold of it. When she got to the front and they weren’t really going with her I thought ‘wow, she may just walk the dog and keep on going.’ What a great ride by Corey. She ran awesome.”
Registering her first stakes win, Star Moment is now sitting on $91,530 in lifetime earnings with a 4-2-0-0 record.
Free Drop Maddy, Guitar Woman, and Olivia G rounded out the order of finish.
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