12/10/2007 12:00AM

Giant Moon in no big hurry

EmailOZONE PARK, N.Y. - Thus far, Giant Moon has put out only the minimum effort required to get the job done. Whether he can step up that effort against anything more than New York-breds will be one of the ontrack storylines of the winter on the New York Racing Association circuit.

Giant Moon did what he had to against Spanky Fischbein to win Sunday's $80,450 Damon Runyon Stakes at Aqueduct, his third victory from as many starts and first around two turns. A son of Giant's Causeway owned and bred by Al Fried Jr. and trained by Richard Schosberg, Giant Moon will most likely face open company in his next start, possibly the Count Fleet Stakes over the inner track in early January.

The Count Fleet is one of a trio of races for 3-year-olds that lead up to the Grade 1 Wood Memorial, expected to be run on April 5 over the main track. There is also the Whirlaway and the Gotham, both run at 1 1/16 miles in February and March, respectively.

"It seems to me it's not going to hurt this horse to race a few times," said Schosberg, who was not yet committing to a schedule. "If we can dodge all the bullets winter may throw at us, we'll be okay."

After battling Spanky Fischbein on the lead through six furlongs in 1:13.07, Giant Moon gradually edged away from that rival to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Jockey Ramon Dominguez did resort to his whip approaching the quarter pole. Giant Moon covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.07 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 82.

"The great thing about having Ramon riding him was he had been on Big Truck in the Sleepy Hollow, and he thought he had Giant Moon the whole way and he couldn't get past him," Schosberg said.

The trainer said the scenario "was almost the same thing" Sunday with Spanky Fischbein: "It looked like he was just cruising along and Giant Moon was dogging it on the inside. Ramon knew he had his work cut out for him.

"He's just a big baby - 'Okay, all right, I'll do it,' " Schosberg added. "I'm still not sure if we've gotten him tired yet. He does what he has to do."

Schosberg said he would like to get Giant Moon into a race where he can get him behind horses early on.

"I think he'll be fine with it," Schosberg said. "Then it's going to be interesting to see what he does when he has to swing out and make that big move. I think that's what he is going to want to do."

That'srightofficer also promising

Schosberg unveiled another good-looking New York-bred juvenile Saturday as That'srightofficer took advantage of a hotly contested pace en route to a 7 1/2-length win. He ran six furlongs in 1:11.50 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 81.

"He's a very, very talented horse," Schosberg said. "The setup helped us, but I thought he was going to win no matter what the setup was. He should stretch out on his pedigree."

That'srightofficer is a son of Officer out of the Turkoman mare Jerome's Folly. Schosberg said he would look at the January condition book before determining where his next start would be.

Barrier Reef one to watch

Barrier Reef wouldn't score high on technical merit, but his overall performance in a two-turn maiden race Saturday rated high marks from all the judges. Now, his connections must decide whether his next performance will take place in the United States or Dubai.

Barrier Reef, a Darley Stable-owned son of Mizzen Mast who cost $350,000 at auction, overcame a bout of greenness to win a maiden race Saturday at Aqueduct. Though the final time of 1:39.60 for one mile and his subsequent Beyer Speed Figure of 79 were unspectacular, the manner in which he won was special.

Barrier Reef blew the first turn and raced wide down the backstretch while trailing the field. After splitting horses at the three-eighths pole, Barrier Reef came five wide turning for home, and as Hedgefund Investor opened up a clear advantage, Barrier Reef drifted out under jockey John Velazquez's left-handed whip. Velazquez hit him once right-handed, and Barrier Reef switched leads and came right over to Hedgefund Investor before passing him inside the 70-yard marker. He continued to gallop out smartly after the race.

"He's not a very agile type horse, so going two turns first time he was definitely going to go around there and get experience," trainer Tom Albertrani said. "He was a little greener than he was in his first race. He was very professional the way he moved up between horses around the turn. . . . He looks like a horse that's got a great future ahead of him."

Jim Bell, the president of Darley USA, said Monday that no decision has been made on whether Barrier Reef will stay in the States or ship to Dubai. A second quarantine of North American horses owned by Darley slated for Dubai is scheduled to start at Payson Park on Dec. 17. There is already a group of Darley-owned horses quarantined in Florida who are scheduled to ship to Dubai.

Bridgmohan okay after spill

Apprentice jockey Jermaine Bridgmohan escaped serious injury following a spill in Sunday's seventh race in which he was unseated by his mount, Whoz Yo Daddy, outside the eighth pole. Bridgmohan was transported by ambulance to Jamaica Hospital, where X-rays taken of his left elbow and right knee were negative, according to his agent, Mike Monroe.

Monroe said on Monday that Bridgmohan still had some pain in his right knee, but he is hopeful that he can ride Wednesday or Thursday at the latest. Earlier this year, Bridgmohan missed a significant amount of time because of injuries suffered in two spills at Gulfstream Park.

Bridgmohan won three races last week and figures to vie with Aldo Arboleda and Carol Cedeno for leading apprentice at the winter meet.