02/21/2011 6:14PM

Giant Moon, New York-bred champion, dead


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Giant Moon, a five-time stakes winner and the New York-bred juvenile champion of 2007, died last week at his owner Albert Fried Jr.’s farm in upstate New York, succumbing to a bout of lamintis. He was 6 years old.

Trained by Richard Schosberg, Giant Moon won 8 of 19 starts, including the Grade 3 Excelsior Stakes in 2009, and he earned $502,586. He won his first four career starts, including the Sleepy Hollow and Damon Runyon in 2007 and the Count Fleet in his 3-year-old debut in 2008. After getting beaten two lengths by Tale of Ekati in the Wood Memorial, Giant Moon ran in the Preakness, finishing eighth behind Big Brown.

Though plagued by foot problems throughout his life, Giant Moon came back to win the Excelsior at Aqueduct in 2009 and the Evan Shipman at Saratoga in 2010. Following a fourth-place finish in the Alex M. Robb at Aqueduct on Dec. 31, Giant Moon was sent to the farm for a freshening with the expectations that he would return to Schosberg in the spring.

“He was on one of the classiest horses ever to walk through my barn,” Schosberg said. “He looked so good when he left here, he was healthy. When you saw him leave you couldn’t wait till spring. This came totally out of the blue. It’s really, really tragic for everybody in our barn and on the farm. We’re all walking around in a daze right now.”