Recovery ongoing, Magnum Moon has 'incredible will to live'

June 18, 2019 04:46pm

Last month, Jacob West took notice when Tenfold broke through to win the Pimlico Special (G3). Last weekend, the racing manager for owners Robert and Lawana Low likewise saw Quip run a close second in the Stephen Foster (G2).

It’s approaching a year since Magnum Moon, the Lows’ colt who beat those horses and a number of others with relative ease, suffered a career-ending injury that has also threatened his life, leading to an ongoing recovery.

“It makes you kind of thing about what could have been — what would have been,” West said. “The day to day thoughts and prayers are appreciated from all the fans hoping we can get over the hump with him.”

Now a 4-year-old, the Rebel Stakes (G2) and Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Magnum Moon remains with the Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists in Elmont, N.Y., where he went for surgery last June 23 having suffered a “structural injury” in a workout at Belmont Park.

“He’s a tough horse, man,” West said. “He’s defied the laws of what goes into those types of injuries. He’s got an incredible will to live.”

West said that spirit, along with dedicated owners and skilled medical staff, are “the reasons why this horse is still alive.” Connections remain hopeful Magnum Moon can emerge from a lengthy recovery for a sustainable life.

“The dream would be for one day to having a bunch of Magnum Moon babies running around out there,” West said.

In the meantime, he grows anxious whenever the phone rings.

“You don’t know if it’s going to be that one phone call you’re not hoping for,” he said.

Magnum Moon, a son of Malibu Moon, went from a Jan. 13 maiden winner to a Feb. 15 allowance score before testing stakes company. He, as with last year’s eventual Triple Crown winner Justify, entered the Kentucky Derby unbeaten and testing the former “curse of Apollo” having not raced at age 2.

Contact with Mendelssohn leaving the starting gate at Churchill Downs wiped out all chance of either contender winning what wound up as Magnum Moon’s final career start.

Magnum Moon's days are now split between stall rest and grazing “a handful of times a day."

“If he can stay on the trajectory he is now, in due time we’re hopeful good things will come,” West said. “We don’t want to overdo anything right now.

“…He’s put up a hell of fight. He’s always been an incredible patient, and as long as he’s doing that, Mr. and Mrs. Low will give him a chance.”


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