HALLANDALE BEACH – Rigney Racing’s Madison’s Luna conceded considerable experience Saturday at Gulfstream Park while making his stakes debut in only his second lifetime start, but the 3-year-old son of Tapit possessed more than enough class and talent to run away from his five rivals to capture the $100,000, Gr. III Hutcheson.
Madison’s Luna ($11), an impressive debut winner at Tampa Bay Downs Feb. 10, romped to victory by five lengths while running six furlongs in 1:10.45 to give trainer Philip Bauer his first victory at Gulfstream Park.
“It was ambitious but we thought it was worth a try,” Bauer said.
Madison’s Luna broke well from the starting gate to stalk the early pace while saving ground along the backstretch before being eased to the outside by jockey Julien Leparoux approaching the far turn. The Kentucky-bred colt advanced three wide to pull alongside dueling pacesetters Belle Tapisserie and Tricks to Doo on the turn into the homestretch before drawing off to win the 64thrunning of the Hutcheson comfortably.
Bauer said he will point Madison’s Luna toward the Pat Day Mile (G3), a one-turn mile at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Derby undercard May 5. “I think he’ll stretch out. We saw how he can relax behind horses,” Bauer said. “He does everything the right way, especially for a Tapit – sometimes they can be temperamental.”
Madison’s Luna was purchased for $400,000 at the 2016 Keeneland September Sale.
Soutache, who was making his first start since winning the $400,000 Florida Sire Stakes In Reality at Gulfstream Park Sept. 30, closed from off the pace to finish second under Tyler Gaffalione. Tricks to Doo held on for third under Irad Ortiz.