Moonshine Justice Gains Vandal Verdict

(from Woodbine report)
Moonshine Justice kept his added-money record unblemished with a late stretch charge to take the featured $164,550 Vandal Stakes for 2-year-old Canadian breds Sunday at Woodbine.

Ridden by Todd Kabel, Moonshine Justice, a son of Whiskey Wisdom, was in pursuit of freewheeling 28-1shot Handlebar Hank, with Gerry Olguin up, from the outset.

Under strong urging from Kabel, the Ontario bred came flying to the leader late, and stormed by to win by a comfortable 1 1/2 lengths, in a time of 1:12.73 over a muddy main strip. Galaxy, at 4-1, rallied for second, while Handlebar Hank held for third.

According to Woodbine's leading rider, the jury was out on whether Moonshine Justice could deal with an off-track, but the colt came up with all the right answers.

"We were concerned because I worked him over an off track and he didn't appear to handle it," explained Kabel, who recorded his colony-leading 21st stakes win of 2004. "Today, he was getting a hold of it and ran a big race."

Trainer and co-owner David Cotey was thrilled with the effort of his young pupil, who came into the race off a three-length triumph in the Clarendon Stakes on July 18.

"He's a beautiful, big long-striding horse," praised Cotey, of the two-time winner from three starts. "He's an intelligent-looking fellow and he's got good size."

Sent off as the favorite, Moonshine Justice earned $98,730 for the win, and has now banked $202,239 for owners Cotey, Derek Ball and Hugh Galbraith.

Moonshine Justice returned $5.30, $2.90 and $2.80, combining with Galaxy ($4.10, $3.60) for a $19.70 exacta. Handlebar Hank ($6.20) completed a trifecta worth $180.

(Chart, Equibase)