English-Bred Wins American Handicap
by Blood-Horse Staff
Date Posted: 7/6/2000 8:22:02 AM

English-bred Dark Moondancer tracked Sunshine Street through moderate early fractions before rallying through the stretch to a 1 1/2-length victory in the $150,000 American Handicap (gr. IIT), Hollywood Park's Fourth of July feature. Fellow English-bred Sardaukar closed for second, a neck in front of a game Sunshine Street. Falcon Flight came home fourth, followed by Martiniquais. Takarian was blocked in upper stretch while running well toward the inside and finished last.

Dark Moondancer was pulled up by jockey Chris McCarron in the early stages of his previous start as the jockey believed the 5-year-old son of Anshan was injured. He returned to training five days later and ran like a sound horse in Tuesday's victory with McCarron in the irons. The Ron McAnally trainee won the San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) and San Luis Rey Stakes (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita this winter. Prior to his ninth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I), he raced in Europe, winning the Gran Premio Milano (Ity-I) and Prix Ganay (Fr-I) while trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre. Dark Moondancer has won 10 races in 20 career starts. He earned $90,000 for the American Handicap victory.

Dark Moondancer is owned by Charles Cella and was bred by Dr. A. Gillespie. As the favorite, he paid $5.80, $3.40, and $2.40 and led a $1 exacta worth $22.20. (Chart, Equibase)

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