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Moonist looks to rise again in Katella Handicap


March 21, 2015     E-mail this page to a friend!

Ron and Jeryl Hartley’s champion Moonist looks to start a new winning streak when he faces some very talented rivals in the $20,000 Katella Handicap on Sunday, March 22, at Los Alamitos. The 8-race program begins at 5:20 p.m. with the popular early Pick 4 getting underway with the night’s first race. The Pick 4 has averaged a pool of over $150,000 so far in March.

Moonist makes his first start since his bid for a 10th straight victory was stopped by fellow champion Matabari in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Championship on February 15. Prior to that second place finish, Moonist had not lost a race in 12 months. His nine-race win streak included four derby victories at Los Alamitos last year, which made him the first 3-year-old to accomplish that feat at the Orange County track. Cesar De Alba will ride and John Cooper will saddle the now 4-year-old Separatist gelding. Moonist enters with a career record of 14 wins in 22 starts and a win here would take him over the $500,000 mark in earnings. He’s at $492,084 now.

Martha Wells’ New Look will also compete in the Katella. A winner of eight of 33 starts and over $250,000, New Look won the 2012 El Primero Del Ano Derby and the Bank of America California Challenge last year. Other stakes winners in this field include 550-yard Scott Lewis Handicap winner Well And Good, Cypress Handicap winner Unchangeable, and Markel Stakes winner Another Storm.