2nd at 4EXCELSIOR H.
(gr. III , 9f , to Giant Moon, defeating Barrier Reef, Atoned, Alaazo, Real Merchant (CHI), True Resurgence, Kurbat (CHI) ).
Giant Moon eclipsed his previous efforts by earning his first graded stakes victory when he held off Cool Coal Man by a half-length April 4 to win the Excelsior Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct.
Richard Schosberg trains Giant Moon for Albert Fried Jr., and the 4-year-old GiantÕs Causeway colt came into the race off a victory March 6 in the Mr. G.J.G. Stakes. Giant Moon began his career with four consecutive victories, including three stakes wins, but did not fare as well when he began running in graded stakes company. After finishing eighth in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) last May, he did not return to the races until February because of hoof issues.
ÒIÕm so happy for Mr. Fried,Ó said Schosberg. ÒWeÕve had all the patience in the world with this horse. This was a real team effortÑfrom the crew on the farm to the crew at Belmont. He had a phenomenal winter, healed up so nicely. The main thing is his feet right now look like the way when God put them on originally. Last year, after the Preakness, his feet got away from him.Ó
Fried, who owns Buttonwood Farm near Rhinebeck, N.Y., bred Giant Moon in New York out of the stakes-winning Capote mare Moonlightandbeauty, whom he also bred. Moonlightandbeauty is out of the grade II-winning Deputy Minister mare Stolen Beauty, whom Fried bought for $30,000 at the 1990 Keeneland September yearling sale.
Giant Moon isnÕt the only one in his female family finding success at the track this year. HeavenÕs Gate, a half-sister to Stolen Beauty, is the dam of This Ones For Phil, who won the March 28 Swale Stakes (gr. II).
Giant Moon is MoonlightandbeautyÕs first foal. The 10-year-old mare delivered a full sister to the grade III winner March 20 and is booked back to GiantÕs Causeway.
GiantÕs Causeway is the sire of 61 stakes winners including additional 2009 added-money winners Cowboy Cal (gr. II), Hold Me Back (gr. II), Our Giant (SAf-II), Awesome Planet (in Australia), and Phenomenons (in Australia). The 12-year-old son of Storm Cat stands at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky., for $125,000.ÑA.H.D.
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