09/11/2003 11:00PM

'Blue Moon' back at home track


AUBURN, Wash. - Blue Moon Special will return to Emerald Downs on Sunday, when she takes on five other older fillies and mares, each eligible to be claimed for $50,000 to $40,000, in the six-furlong feature.

Blue Moon Special, a 4-year-old from the barn of trainer Terry Gillihan, launched her career here last season with a campaign that netted two wins and two stakes placings from six starts. After a fruitless attempt in the $175,000 B.C. Oaks in September, Blue Moon Special resumed racing in January at Golden Gate and ran off three seconds and a win over $12,500 starter allowance company from four starts.

She has not raced since a win on March 14, but Blue Moon Special has posted a string of sharp morning drills and has a history of running well fresh.

Hoping to spoil Blue Moon Special's homecoming party is R C Gangster, who will be shortening up after three straight route attempts. The Jim Penney-trained R C Gangster fell short in her recent routes, finishing fourth and seventh against stakes company and third to allowance rivals, but she won twice at six furlongs earlier in the meeting, defeating allowance company in April and $50,000 optional claimers in June. She has won four of her five attempts over six furlongs.

Also dangerous is Exclusive Molly, who was claimed by trainer Bud Klokstad when she ran a close third for a $32,000 tag in a six-furlong race on Sept. 1. Exclusive Molly won for the same claiming price in her prior outing, Aug. 16, and is another who is at her best at six furlongs, having won 4 of 12 tries at the distance.