Malibu Moonshine Looks to Stay Perfect in Gin Talking

December 19, 2022

Malibu Moonshine winning the Maryland Juvinile Fillies Dec. 3. (Jerry Dzierwinski/MJC)

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David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club

LAUREL, Md. – Happy Face Racing Stable’s Malibu Moonshine, unbeaten in two starts, looks to keep her perfect record intact with a second straight stakes win in the $100,000 Gin Talking Dec. 26 at Laurel Park.

Based in New York with trainer Charlton Baker, Malibu Moonshine has raced exclusively in Maryland. The Bourbon Courage filly rallied to romp by six lengths over a sloppy track in a six-furlong maiden special weight Sept. 11 at historic Pimlico Race Course.

A fever kept the Malibu Moonshine out of the Maryland Million, but she came from off the pace again to capture the seven-furlong Maryland Juvenile Fillies Dec. 3 at Laurel, contested over a muddy track.

“She came out of the race good,” Baker said. “I like her chances here. It’s a little tougher competition, but I think she’s a little tougher coming out of that last race and she should move forward from that.”

For the second straight race, Malibu Moonshine will break from the rail in the Gin Talking, this time under Dylan Davis, who was aboard in debut. Baker feels the post should suit her late-running style.

“I thought she put herself a little closer [last time], but it seems like she breaks and kind of tries to get herself together and then she makes her run, and that’s OK/ She’s been successful doing that and I don’t mind. The seven-eighths is a good distance for her,” Baker said. “She’s a very good shipper Nothing really bothers her. She’s like an old pro when it comes to everything.”

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher will send out Repole Stable’s Give Me Kisses. The bay daughter of Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense fetched $400,000 as a 2-year-old in training in March at Gulfstream Park and debuted with a three-quarter-length triumph Nov. 20 at Aqueduct in her lone start.

“She broke her maiden first time out at Aqueduct and ran pretty well. We were looking for a spot to stretch her out a little bit, and this looked like a good opportunity. She’d trained professionally leading up to it and I thought it was a good effort,’ Pletcher said. “We bought her at the sale and she had breezed well. She trained like she was capable of winning her debut, and she ran accordingly.”

Laurel-based Gormley’s Gabriela and Tappin Josie will lean on experience in the Gin Talking, each having had six prior starts. JoAnn Smith’s Gormley’s Gabriela will be making her third consecutive stakes start after running third in the six-furlong Smart Halo Nov. 12 and Maryland Juvenile Fillies.

S B Stables and GenStar Thoroughbreds’ Tappin Jose was claimed by fall meet-leading trainer Brittany Russell for $62,500 out of a 2 ½-length victory Nov. 14 at Laurel. She finished first, ahead of both Gormley’s Gabriela and Miss Georgie, in her prior start at Laurel but was disqualified to third for interference.

Michael Eiserman, Earl Silver and Kenneth Fishbein’s Miss Georgie has been first or second in all three of her starts at Laurel, finishing last of 10 when ambitiously placed in the Spinaway (G1) at Saratoga. She was placed second in the Sept. 30 race against Tappin Josie, and last out edged Gormley’s Gabriela by a neck as runner-up in the Smart Halo.

Rounding out the field are Stonewall Star, four-length winner of the six-furlong Key Cents Nov. 20 at Aqueduct; She’s So Speightsy, exiting a 3 ¼-length allowance triumph Nov. 27 at Mountaineer; and Ojitos Bellos, racing first off a maiden claiming win Dec. 10 at Laurel going six furlongs.

Gin Talking was named Maryland’s 2-year-old filly champion in 1999 after a perfect 4-0 season that included three stakes wins. She won three more stakes in 2000 including the Anne Arundel (G3) to earn both champion 3-year-old filly and Horse of the Year honors. She was retired after two starts in 2001 to become a broodmare; her first foal, Dixie Talking, won the 2005 Cicada (G3) and was the dam of 2013 Illinois Derby (G3) winner Done Talking.

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