Kentucky Oaks 2014; Kiss Moon teams with Victor Espinoza
Kentucky Oaks 2014; Kiss Moon teams with Victor Espinoza: With 50 points on the Kentucky Oaks lead board, Kiss Moon sits in the 11th place position. The three-year-old filly galloped around the Churchill Downs track with exercise rider Otto Thorwarth on Thursday, April 24, 2014 in preparation for the Longines Kentucky Oaks on May 2, 2014. The daughter of Malibu Moon had a couple of different jockey changes this week from Julien Leparoux to Victor Espinoza.
Jockey Julien Leparoux worked with Kiss Moon on Monday at Churchill Downs but recent reports reveal Julien will now team up with Thank You Marilou in the 2014 Kentucky Oaks.
Immediately after Kiss Moon’s Monday work trainer Dave Vance stated, “I love Leparoux. I think he’s the best around. He’s got all the patience in the world. He’s horse-conscious. I just like the way he rides.”
Kiss Moon is now reported to team up with jockey Victor Espinoza. The multiple graded stakes jockey almost brought home the Triple Crown in 2002 with War Emblem by winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes but sadly finished 8th in the Belmont Stakes.
Kiss Moon’s trainer Dave Vance is perhaps most notable for training the winner of the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, Carresing.
Dave Vance said of his Kentucky Oaks contender Kiss Moon, “She’s still in the developing process. She’s got a lot of growing to do and filling out. When she gets done with her summer campaign and fall campaign and give her time off this winter to grow and fill out, she could be a very useful horse.”
Kiss Moon is owned by Carl F. Pollard, who previously owned Hermitage Farm in Kentucky and is now a retired board member and chairman at Churchill Downs Incorporated. Kiss Moon was bred by Hermitage Farm LLC and the filly was foaled on April 7, 2011 by sire Malibu Moon and dam Kiss the Devil. Malibu Moon has also sired grade 1 winners including Life at Ten, Devil May Care, and Ask the Moon.
Kiss the Moon has placed in multiple graded stakes and has had 5 career starts including 2 firsts and 1 second and 1 third with a total career earnings of $141,600 and $28,320 per start. This year alone, Kiss Moon has had 4 starts with 1 first, 1 second, and 1 third with a total year earnings of $129,000 and $32,250 earnings per start this year. Kiss Moon is currently ranked #103 out of 29, 069 horses this year.
Most recently, Kiss Moon has competed in two races on the trail to the 2014 Kentucky Oaks. First, on March 8th, 2014 Kiss Moon competed in the 2014 Honeybee Stakes (see recap) at Oaklawn Park. Kiss Moon came in 4th place in the grade 3 1 1/16 mile race. Then, on April 5, 2014, Kiss Moon competed in the 2014 Fantasy Stakes (see recap) at Oaklawn Park. Kiss Moon came in second place in the grade 3 1 1/16 mile race.
Kiss Moon is a fan favorite for the 2014 Kentucky Oaks. Hopefully the Malibu Moon filly will receive a decent post position at the draw next week.
Kentucky Oaks 2014 Post Positions and Odds
1 Please Explain 50-1 Jose Lezcano
2 Ria Antonia 10-1 Mike Smith
3 Sugar Shock 12-1 Calvin Borel
4 Rosalind 8-1 Joel Rosario
5 Thank You Marylou 30-1 Julien Leparoux
6 Kiss Moon 30-1 Victor Espinoza
7 Fashion Plate 6-1 Gary Stevens
8 Aurelia’s Belle 50-1 Channing Hill
9 Unbridled Forever 12-1 Robby Albarado
10 Empress Of Midway 50-1 Corey Nakatani
11 My Miss Sophia 8-1 Javier Castellano
12 Got Lucky 20-1 John Velazquez
13 Untapable 4-5 Rosie Napravnik