The victory represents the third straight win, second in stakes company, and first over the 1 1/16-mile distance for the two-year-old colt by Giant’s Causeway, who scored a courageous head decision in the one-mile Sleepy Hollow Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 20. Prior to that effort, Giant Moon won his maiden bow at Belmont on Sept. 12 in a five-furlong $46,000 maiden special weight by 1 ¼ lengths.
Giant Moon, with Ramon Dominguez in the irons, shot to the pace along the inside, while stakes winner Spanky Fischbein stalked stubbornly on the outside. Alexandros, a maiden special winner in his fifth and last start at Aqueduct on Nov. 30, shadowed the pace from third while Coastal Drive and Russian Sage galloped along in fourth and fifth, respectively. As Spanky Fischbein continued to press the pace throughout, Giant Moon rebuffed that rival and scooted away to add another score to his burgeoning resume. Alexandros never rallied to finish third, 1 ¾ lengths behind Spanky Fischbein. Coastal Drive never fired and finished fourth, while Russian Sage was eased in the stretch. Trained by Rick Schosberg and campaigned by breeder Albert Fried Jr., Giant Moon completed the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:46.07 over a fast track.
“He’s got speed, and obviously that’s always an asset over that track (Aqueduct),” Schosberg said. “You always want to hit that first turn in good position regardless of the post. We’ve got a great rider who we’ve had recent success with, so we’ll just see how things play out (where Giant Moon makes his next start). If he keeps performing the way he has you’d like to take a shot at open company. He’s obviously bred to go long, and he’s already gone (beyond) the mile with no problem.”
Giant Moon, bred in New York, is the first winner for the stakes winning Capote mare Moonlightandbeauty, whose dam is grade II winner Stolen Beauty, by Deputy Minister. Family notables include two-time Canadian champion older mare and champion sprinter Eternal Search. –Mary Marshall