Race of the Week 2017

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Zipse At The Track

Future Star Watch – Sister Moon

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, agrees.

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.



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Older Comments about Future Star Watch – Sister Moon...

Well they were only maidens, but it did not look like a weak bunch.
Pretty amazing, do you know anything about who she beat? Time was great and best it looked she was having fun.
Sister Moon sets a track record and is "hand ridden very easily". Yes, very impressive. Can't wait to see her runagain.
Look's like rising star, and she's most likely to improve after having a race under her belt. Holy Smoke's Jimmy Olsen
Holy Heck! It's hard for me to say Ruffian! She started and finished in one breath!
Thanks for the correction about Maclean's Music. Did not realize he had not raced as a 2yo. Guess when we see him in a race this fall, we will hear why he wasn't raced at 2.
Maclean's Music is 3, but yes, his debut performance was huge with a capital HU! Looking forward to his return this fall.
She will be exciting to watch and this was an incredible race. Hope she makes it to the BC. I can only think of two others this year that come close: Maclean's Music, who registered the highest debut Beyer figure ever at 114 back in March, and Jake Mo, your other recent Future Star, who came within an eyelash of breaking a track record for his debut, I believe! There is a connection between Sister Moon and Jake Mo: The Mosses! They own Giacomo, sire of Jake Mo, and, of course, they own/bred Sister Moon!
Well said, BayRoan. You said the same thing I did in far fewer words!
The only thing I can think to say about this race is: Holy S---!!! That was incredible!!

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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