07/29/2014 2:48PM

Moonshine Mullin star of W.Va. Derby undercard

Tom Keyser
Moonshine Mullin has earned $644,000 since being claimed for $40,000 last November by trainer Randy Morse.

The West Virginia Derby card, which has a special 2 p.m. Eastern first post time, consists of nine stakes, all of which have drawn good-sized fields. As many as 100 horses might run.

The unquestionable star of the undercard is Moonshine Mullin, an astounding $40,000 claim by trainer Randy Morse who will run in the $200,000 West Virginia Governor’s. Moonshine Mullin has won five races in a row, including the Grade 1 Stephen Foster and Grade 2 Alysheba. He earned a fees-paid berth into the Breeders’ Cup Classic in the Foster, which is a BC Challenge Series race.

“Hard to find horses like him. Doesn’t matter what you pay for them,” Morse, 52, said.

:: West Virginia Derby: Get PPs, watch Saturday's card live

Morse claimed Moonshine Mullin, a 6-year-old horse, at Remington Park last December. He has since earned $644,000.

“He was always cut out to be a good horse. He won a stakes when he was young, and he was second in the Jim Dandy,” Morse said. “He was always meant to be a better horse than when I got him.”

Morse considered sending Moonshine Mullin to Saratoga for this weekend’s Grade 1 Whitney but ultimately decided to lower his sights for the time being.

“I was gonna go to Saratoga, but I got to thinking it would be smart to avoid the heavy heads,” he said. “If we’re going to take them on, the time should be in the Breeders’ Cup. I’ve kind of backed off him and freshened him up. He’s not as fit as he could be. I want to have him fresh for this fall.”

Moonshine Mullin is owned by Randy Patterson, a cattle buyer from Anthony, Kan.

“That this horse is his makes it even better for me,” Morse said. “He’s such a great guy, and it always seems those are the people it’s hardest to do good for.”