Moon River Shines Brightest in Punch Line
Moon River, acquired from the estate of late Virginia breeder and owner William Backer by DARRS Inc., rallied down the stretch past favored Turf Monster (G3) runner-up Two North Road to win the $60,000 Punch Line.
A 4-year-old by Bluegrass Cat ridden by Feargal Lynch, Moon River covered a firm 5 ½-furlong turf course in 1:02.03.
After being acquired by DARRS Inc.’s David Ross, Moon River was transferred to the barn of trainer Brendan Walsh where finished fifth at Saratoga and sixth at Belmont in entry-level allowance races over the turf.
“We acquired him from the estate of Bill Backer,” Ross said. “Bill was a very big racing fan out of Virginia and we’re pleased to carry his tradition on. I thought he would get better. I thought he had a lot of potential. I also think he has some diversity, so we look forward to seeing him maybe on the dirt. I think he’s just going to get better.”
Moon River raced fourth past an opening quarter of :22.99 set by Available. Pressed through a half mile in :45.34 by Two Notch Road, Available and Two Notch Road couldn’t hold off Moon River, who moved three-wide entering the stretch and by his opponents inside the final eighth.
As far as the next race for Moon River, a winner of two of 15 starts, Ross said the horse will get a rest.
“He needs a break right now, he’s been racing pretty regularly,” Ross said. “We’ll give him a nice little break and see where Brendan wants to race him.”