12/10/2007 12:00AM

Giant Moon prevails in Runyon

EmailGiant Moon passed his first test around two turns, shaking off a prolonged pace challenge from Spanky Fischbein in the final furlong to win the $80,450 Damon Runyon Stakes for New York-bred juveniles by 1 3/4 lengths at Aqueduct.

Spanky Fischbein, who dueled head and head outside of Giant Moon for more than six furlongs, held second by 1 3/4 lengths over Alexandros in third. Coastal Drive and Russian Sage completed the order of finish.

The victory kept Giant Moon unbeaten from three starts and more than likely earned him a New York-bred juvenile championship.

Giant Moon had to work for this victory just as he had to work for his win over Coastal Drive in the Sleepy Hollow Stakes in October at Belmont.

Breaking from the rail under Ramon Dominguez, Giant Moon dueled with Spanky Fischbein through fractions of 23.31 seconds, 47.56, and 1:13.07. With Dominguez beginning to go to his right-handed whip outside the quarter pole, Giant Moon gradually responded to his rider's urging before pulling away late. Giant Moon, a son of Giant's Causeway owned and bred by Al Fried and trained by Richard Schosberg, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.07 and returned $5.30 as the slight favorite.

"I can honestly say I haven't been this tired in a while," Dominguez said. "You have to keep after him every step."

Schosberg said he was hoping that Giant Moon wouldn't have to be on the lead, but that's the way the race shaped up. Schosberg may point Giant Moon to next month's Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct.