People often ask me, “Hey Zipse, what did you think of so and so’s race the other day?” More often than not, I will respond with a, “he or she looked good,” with a little more information specific to that horse. It’s something I do every week of the year, and I realize it comes with the job. Don’t get me wrong, I love talking horses with people, but most of the time these queries are about a horse that will never really make a big splash on the national racing scene. Every once in a while though there is a performance so impressive that it knocks this guy, who has seen thousands upon thousands of races over the last 40 years, right off my feet. Such was the case with the debut performance of Sister Moon
this past Sunday at Del Mar.
Sister Moon is bay daughter of Dixie Union
out of Shimmer, by Pulpit. Bred in Kentucky by Jerry and Ann Moss, the leggy juvenile filly, owned by her breeders, scored a scintillating 10 length victory over a field of maiden fillies. In the process she set a track record over the Del Mar
synthetic surface for 5 ½ furlongs. Sister Moon covered the distance in 1:02.70 under rider Joel Rosario, besting the previous record of multiple grade 1 winner Sidney’s Candy, from 2009. [How high will Sister Moon climb in the HRN Power Rankings for 2-year-old Fillies?]
I try not to get too excited after just one race, but in my mind this was undoubtedly the finest performance I have seen by a two-year-old so far in 2011. A performance like that makes me believe she may truly be any kind, and furthermore she does not give me the physical impression of a filly that will be best sprinting. Her trainer, John Sadler
When I asked him if she will be stretched out this year, he responded, “Oh, I would think so. I mean she's scopey. She's got a big body on her and, you know, even though we ran her five and a half the first time, she's never shown me anything that she won't have any problems getting the distance as she trains.”
I also asked him if he saw this kind of debut performance coming. This is what Sadler told me, “Well I mean I knew she was nice and I thought she would win. What you don't see coming is how they do it, you know, how easily it was for her. So it's a really exciting race. She's another filly from out of the Ann and Jerry Moss barn - stable actually. And she impressed me right from the start and was very impressive on Sunday.”
Very impressive may not be strong enough to describe what I saw on Sunday. As debut performances go, I thought this one was special.
Sadler went on to tell me that he will give her a little time after this one, and that he had his eye on the Oak Leaf Stakes in October, and then the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies
after that. Going from a 5 ½ furlong maiden to a grade 1 at 1 1/16 miles is a big step up, but I would not be surprised if Sister Moon can get it done. After all, I did say this was the best juvenile performance of the year, didn’t I?
Here is a replay of the race I am raving about. Take a look and tell me what you think.