Moonlite Strike Leads the Way in 1-2-3 Parade of Roar Stakes Runners for Trainer Joseph
May 15, 2021
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL
– The three horses saddled by trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. finished 1-2-3 in Saturday’s $75,000 Roar Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Just in the reverse order that bettors thought they would.
Moonlite Strike (7-1) pulled off a mild upset in the 6 ½ furlong dash, scoring by 3 ¼ lengths over stablemate Lauda Speed (7-2) and another 1 ½ over Joseph’s more heralded runner, Collaborate (2-5).
The win for Sonata Stable’s Moonlite Strike was the 3-year-old’s first in a stakes, and third win overall in seven career starts.
After Warrior’s Pride led the way to the quarter pole, Moonlite Strike took command and drew off in the stretch under jockey Edgard Zayas. Moonlight Strike had fallen short in three previous stakes tries – the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park, Tampa Bay Derby and Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park.
Collaborate was the fancy of bettors based on his sensational 12 1/2-length maiden victory at Gulfstream in February. Though the colt followed that effort with a fifth-place finish in the 1 1/8-mile Curlin Florida Derby, Joseph felt that the cutback to a shorter distance would be to Collaborate’s liking.
But the colt dropped back to last in the field of five and, after making menacing move in the turn for jockey Edwin Gonzalez, couldn’t sustain his drive in the stretch and settled for third.