11/23/2007 12:00AM

Giant Moon conservatively spotted

EmailOZONE PARK, N.Y. - When it comes to his undefeated New York-bred juvenile Giant Moon, trainer Richard Schosberg believes an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

While Giant Moon has not contracted the upper respiratory virus that most of Schosberg's young horses have gotten, Schosberg elected not to enter Giant Moon in Saturday's $200,000 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct. Instead, Schosberg will point Giant Moon to the $75,000 Damon Runyon Stakes for New York-breds over the inner track on Dec. 9.

"On the surface, you would think that's a good thing," Schosberg said of Giant Moon not being sick. "To me, that means he hasn't got it yet. The last thing I need to do is have him go out there run a bad one and get sick on me. So, with an alternative race coming up in two weeks [owner Albert Fried] and I decided to play it conservatively."

Giant Moon, a son of Giant's Causeway, had won his first two starts, including an upset victory over Big Truck in the Sleepy Hollow Stakes at Belmont on Oct. 20. Schosberg said he hopes a big performance by Giant Moon in the Damon Runyon will allow him to try spots like the Count Fleet and Gotham next year over the inner track.

"If we play it conservatively now and it works for us, we can get a little more aggressive into the spring," Schosberg said.

Schosberg, who is 0 for 13 at this meet, also added that he's feeling a little snakebit right now, especially coming off highly successful meets at Saratoga and Belmont.

"It seems superstitious, but you seem to be able to overcome the little things when things are going good," said Schosberg. "When things aren't going good, the little things turn into big things."

Majestic Warrior awaits next year

While trainer Bill Mott was well represented in Saturday's Remsen with Court Vision, his Grade 1-winning 2-year-old Majestic Warrior was in south Florida getting some rest before preparing for his 3-year-old season. Majestic Warrior, who won the Hopeful, was forced to miss the Breeders' Cup Juvenile with a hoof injury. At the time, Mott said it was possible Majestic Warrior could have made it to the Remsen. While Majestic Warrior did resume training, Mott and George Steinbrenner's Kinsman Stable, which owns Majestic Warrior, opted to point for next year.

"At the end of the day, we felt we were a little better off giving him time right now," Mott said. "He'll be able to get started up a little sooner. He had done enough. There wasn't much to gain."

Meriwether Jessica to East View

Coming off a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Tempted, Meriwether Jessica would have fit nicely in Saturday's $200,000 Demoiselle Stakes. But trainer Linda Rice opted for a seemingly softer spot, pointing her to next Sunday's $75,000 East View Stakes for New York-bred juvenile fillies.

"I think that's a race we can win," Rice said . "The Demoiselle we're one of many in the mix. The East View's a little shorter, which is better for us."

Meriwether Jessica, a daughter of Freud, was a 12 1/2-length debut winner at Belmont going five furlongs on Sept. 7. She finished second to Expect the End in both the Joseph A. Gimma and Maid of the Mist before her second-place finish in the Tempted.

Meanwhile, Rice has come up with races for the three fillies who swept the top three places in the Fifth Avenue Division of the New York Stallion Stakes on Nov. 11. Canadian Ballet, who won it, will run in the $75,000 Xtra Heat on Dec. 6 while runner-up Sweet Bama Breeze will be pointed to a maiden race and Noble Fire to a first-level allowance race.

Grand Champion may try longer races

Trainer Jimmy Jerkens said he may try to stretch out Fall Highweight winner Grand Champion in distance next year. Thus far, the the 4-year-old gelding has run in all sprint races, winning 5 of 10 including a gritty head victory in Thursday's Fall Highweight.

"He sure runs like a horse that will stretch out," Jerkens said Friday morning. "Two Punch isn't so much two turn, but he gets all the distance on the dam side. You always want to try to stretch a horse out that's got easy speed like he's got."

One possible spot to try to stretch Grand Champion out in is the Hal's Hope Handicap at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 6. Last year, the Hal's Hope was a one-turn mile. This year, it's a two-turn race run at 1 1/8 miles.

* Oprah Winney, who finished eighth in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, worked five furlongs in 1:02.21 Friday at Aqueduct. The multiple-stakes-winning New York-bred filly is nominated to next Saturday's $75,000 Garland of Roses, the first stakes of the inner-track meet.

* Belmont's main track will close for the season after training Sunday. Beginning Monday, all training will be conducted on the training track from 6 a.m. to 10:30 with harrowing breaks at 7:15 and 9 a.m.