She began with early promise as a two-year old. By the time the year was out, she had already reached the apex of her career. But over the course of two seasons, this charge of trainer Simon Callaghan showed race fans she was a nuanced and talented, if not dominant, filly.
Campaigned by multiple owners, including Bridlewood Farm, Mrs. John Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael B. Tabor, she was competitive across North America and proved capable of winning at high levels early on. Not afraid to battle with a rival, she sometimes won said battles and other times lost. But it can be said she was willing to mix it up early on, and she could also be strategic when in action.
The career of Moonshine Memories began with a three-race winning streak that showcased how she could employ different running styles. She defeated maiden special weight company on debut at Del Mar in the summer of 2017 before making the leap to Grade I company in the Del Mar Debutante in a two-week span. That race marked the first time she teamed with noted jockey Flavien Prat, who would be aboard for the biggest moments of the filly's career. After dueling early in her bow, Moonlight Memories took charge early in the Debutante to win at racing's highest level in only her second start.
Next came the Grade I Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita, which saw Moonshine Memories let a rival make the pace up front before taking over in the stretch for her second successive Grade I triumph. Another aspect of this early part of her career revealed her diversity with distances. Those first three races saw Moonshine Memories win at six furlongs, seven furlongs, and a mile and one-sixteenth. That talent for handling various routes of ground gave Moonshine Memories some big scores in the first phase of her time at the races.
The winning streak was halted after Moonshine Memories faded to seventh place in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies after being in early contention for much of the contest. But that did not take away from a very productive first year for the daughter of Malibu Moon.
Year two did not produce as much in terms of victories, but Moonshine Memories still possessed a competitive spirit. The season proved to be nomadic for her, too. Resurfacing the following spring at Santa Anita, she finished a nice second in the Angels Flight Stakes. That was followed by a trip to New York for the Grade I Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park. Engaged in a duel up front, Moonshine Memories had nothing for the stretch and left the Empire State with an off the board result. But she was given class relief upon returning home, as she took an allowance race at Del Mar in a gutsy effort in the stretch while getting a cutback to six and one-half furlongs after taking on Grade I company in the Acorn.
Moonshine Memories gained at least partial redemption in a return engagement to New York. Entered in the Grade II Prioress, she rallied for third place thanks to some fast fractions. A few weeks later, she headed to Kentucky for Keeneland's Grade II Raven Run Stakes. Tracking the leader early on, Moonshine Memories could not sustain her bid as she came in ninth.
Retired after the Raven Run, Moonshine Memories won four races in nine tries. She also scored a second and third, both of which came in stakes races. Certainly a classy horse in her own right, her biggest successes came in Southern California. That being said, she could hold her own out of state as well.
Talented on the racetrack, Moonshine Memories may not have been a win machine. But she was a competitor.
And a winner.