07/26/2010 2:48PM

Giant Moon guts out a victory in Evan Shipman


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Monday’s $70,000 Evan Shipman Stakes is far from the most prestigious race to be decided this summer at Saratoga. But by meet’s end it may be remembered as one of the most exciting after the odds-on favorite, Giant Moon overcame a wide trip to outfinish an unlucky Icabad Crane and outgame Groomedforvictory in the 1 1/8-mile race for New York-breds.

Giant Moon, with Edgar Prado riding, was hung wide the entire trip but showed enough courage and class to wear down Icabad Crane in the final strides to post a well-deserved neck victory. The runner-up forged his way through a narrow opening to take a short lead nearing midstretch but could not last. Groomedforvictory finished just another neck further back in third after bumping with Icabad Crane and dueling with that rival for command through much of the final furlong.

Giant Moon, a homebred son of Giant’s Causeway, is trained by Richard Schosberg for owner-breeder Albert Fried Jr. The 5-year-old covered the distance in 1:49.31 seconds over a fast track and paid $3.70.

“The trip worked out very differently than we had set up. He’s normally much closer, and he was hung out three to five wide around both turns,” said Schosberg. “With three jumps to go, I thought we were going to get third, beaten two noses. But he really showed his class. Those were two really nice horses he beat today, and he did it while showing both a new dimension and that he could take some distance.”