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Moonist begins chase for fifth derby win of the year

November 28, 2014     E-mail this page to a friend!

Moonist hits the finish line in front in the PCQHRA Breeders Derby on October 3
(photo by Los Alamitos Race Course)
Moonist, the nation’s number one ranked Quarter Horse, will begins his quest for an unprecedented fifth derby victory of the year when he leads the trials to the $145,850 Southern California Derby on Sunday night, November 30, at Los Alamitos.

Trained by John Cooper for Ron and Jeryl Hartley, Moonist has enjoyed one of the best seasons ever by a 3-year-old at Los Alamitos. The son of Separatist has won nine of 10 starts this year’s and his victories have included the El Primero Del Ano Derby, Governor’s Cup Derby, Golden State Derby, and PCQHRA Breeders Derby. The only blemish in his record came he ran fourth to Viva Mi Corazon in the Los Alamitos Winter Derby.

Moonist will be making his first start since a dominating 1ľ-length victory in the Breeders Derby on October 3. He had an easy 350-yard turn and work in :18.30 on November 15 to prepare for this race.

“He’s doing great,” Cooper said. “We’ll find out more when he runs in the trials.”

The horses with the 10 fastest in the three trials will return for the Southern California Derby final on Sunday, December 21. Moonist will be in action in the first trial of the night, which is scheduled as the seventh race on the card. His rivals will include Ed Allred’s La Primera Del Ano Derby runner-up Quirky and Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes winner Another Oatie. Trained by James Glenn Jr., Quirky won the Debutante Stakes for sophomore Cal-bred fillies on July 26.

Vessels Stallion Farm’s Dynasty of Habits will be looking to qualify to her fifth derby final of the year. The FDD Dynasty filly ran third to Moonist in the PCQHRA Breeders Derby and before that she was Governor’s Cup Derby, La Primera Del Ano Derby, and Los Alamitos Winter Derby. Her only victory of the year came in a trial to the Governor’s Cup. Multiple Grade 1 finalist Solid Connection and Grade 1 finalist Jiffy James will be among the main contenders in this trial.

The third and final trial will feature Lex Fabrizio’s 2013 Wild West Futurity winner All Guns Firing, who in his last start competed in the PCQHRA Breeders Derby. Another top contender in this race is Anna and Rod MacPherson’s Senor Gold Solo, who posted an allowance victory in his only start of the year while winning his last three starts. A total of 25 horses will compete in Sunday’s trials to the Southern California Derby.