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Giant Moon Captures Evan Shipman

Giant Moon made his Saratoga Race Course debut a winning one Monday afternoon, rallying through the stretch to edge Icabad Crane and take the $70,000 Evan Shipman by a neck.


Ridden by Hall of Famer Edgar Prado, Giant Moon was caught wide throughout the 1 1/8th mile race for New York-breds, running well off the rail as Mighty Morris set early fractions of 23.83, 48.30 and 1:12.09. As the pacesetter began to fade, the 5-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway moved up four wide into the stretch and took aim on the leaders, catching Icabad Crane in the final yards and holding on for the win.


“He broke well from the gate, he just got outrun in the early part of the race,” said Prado of Giant Moon, who had never raced at Saratoga. “I was going to tuck inside, but I saw some other horses inside, so I stayed where I was. He started moving around the far turn, but he really picked it up and kept trying when he saw the other horses at the end. He's a game horse and he will fight hard when he sees another horse.”


Giant Moon’s final time was 1:49.31 over a fast track.


“With three jumps to go, I thought we were going to get third, beaten two noses,” said Rick Schosberg, who trains Giant Moon for Albert Fried. “It was a tough trip, going wide on both turns, but he showed his class. We’re thrilled with it. It was a dynamite performance.”


Icabad Crane held on well for second, a head in front of Groomedforvictory, who in turn was followed by Ruffino, Slevin, Naughty New Yorker, and Mighty Morris.


Giant Moon, the 4-5 favorite, returned $3.70 for a $2 win bet as he extended his record to 8-2-0 from 14 starts, with earnings of $483,536.  On the Triple Crown trail as a 3-year-old, finishing eighth in the Preakness behind Big Brown, Giant Moon was raced sparingly as a 4-year-old and this year is 2-1-0 from four starts, with his only poor performance coming with an eighth-place finish in his 2010 debut, the Grade 3 Westchester.


“Anytime he’s run that badly it’s been my fault,” said Schosberg, with a smile. “We’re so happy with this win, we want to savor it for a while before we look ahead. There’s a chance he could run again at Saratoga towards the end of the met, or else very early in the meet at Belmont Park.”




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