Giant Moon Glows at Belmont
Giant Moon, one of the new shooters Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Big Brown will face in the Preakness Stakes (gr.I) May 17, worked over Belmont Park’s fast main track May 7.
With exercise rider Cesar Correa in the saddle, Giant Moon worked in company, as he typically does, with stablemate Tergesti. Giant Moon’s time for five furlongs was 1:01.04, the sixth-fastest of 26 works at the distance. Tergesti, a New York-bred 6-year-old gelding, was clocked in 1:01.01.
Schosberg said Giant Moon, fourth in the Wood Memorial (gr.I) at Aqueduct April 5, will ship to Pimlico after training hours at Belmont May 15.
“Today was his last major prep work,” Schosberg said. “I would like to do a little something with him, stretch his legs, maybe (May 13), but want to dodge any raindrops. I was happy with the way he worked today. He’s been working steadily since the Wood.”
The May 7 work was the fourth for Giant Moon, a New York-bred son of Giant’s Causeway, since being beaten two lengths by the Wood Memorial winner, Tale of Ekati, who came back to run fourth in the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (gr.I).
In the Wood, Giant Moon saved ground early while racing fifth down the backstretch. He improved his position, under Jorge Chavez, while running on the rail for six furlongs of the 1 1/8-mile race.
“I was very pleased with the Wood, if I hadn’t been, I wouldn’t have been thinking Preakness,” Schosberg said. “Since we couldn’t have made the Derby because of earnings, which could be a blessing in disguise, this gives us six weeks in between races for the Preakness. He might have gotten a little tired in the Wood, and probably wasn’t racing on the best part of the racetrack. In the end, that might have caused him a better position. I think it is a good race to move forward off of.
“It’s Big Brown’s race; he is by far the best 3-year-old. But they have to run the race. I think (Giant Moon) belongs with these horses even though I haven’t analyzed the preliminary list yet. If he improves off the Wood, maybe that would put him in that type of class. He still has to show it to us.”
Giant Moon will be reunited with jockey Ramon Dominguez in the Preakness. Dominguez rode the colt, who is owned and bred by Albert Fried Jr., in his first four starts, which all resulted in wins, including two restricted stakes and the ungraded Count Fleet. Before the Wood Memorial, Giant Moon finished last over a sloppy track in the Gotham (gr.III), an effort Schosberg has tossed because of the condition of the track.
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