01/10/2011 4:23PM

Giant Moon getting vacation

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Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Richard Schosberg leads Giant Moon last summer at Saratoga.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - After a couple of disappointing efforts, Giant Moon was sent to owner Al Fried’s farm in upstate New York for a winter vacation, trainer Richard Schosberg said.

Giant Moon finished fourth in the Alex M. Robb Stakes on Dec. 31, his fourth straight loss since he won the Evan Shipman Stakes at Saratoga on July 26. Schosberg said a telltale sign to him that Giant Moon needed a rest was that he didn’t get up for third over Mine Over Matter in the Robb.

“He’s thrown in a couple of subpar races,” Schosberg said. “Physically, he’s fine, but he’s only putting out about 80 percent. He ran that real good race at Saratoga but he hasn’t been able to come back from that effort. We’ll give him off til the spring and bring him back.’’

Giant Moon was the champion New York-bred 2-year-old of 2007 and won the Count Fleet as a 3-year-old before finishing ninth in the Grade 3 Gotham. Foot and back issues led to extended breaks between his 3- and 4-year-old seasons and his 4- and 5-year-old seasons, but those issues appear to be behind him.

Meanwhile, things have begun to turn around for Schosberg’s barn. After struggling in the fall – including a streak of seven consecutive third-place finishes – Schosberg has won with four of his last 10 starters over the inner track.