Pedigree Analysis: Moonist

Moonist comes from a family who knows how to win.

Q-Racing Journal

Moonist wins the Golden State Derby. PHOTO: Scott Martinez

Moonist has been having a tremendous year. It is one that now includes a Grade 1 victory and pushes him to the lead on this year’s list by wins. On Sunday, he daylighted the Golden State Derby (G1) field, and adds to his record that already included victories in the El Primero Del Ano Derby (G3) and Governor’s Cup Derby (RG3).

The bay gelding races for owner Ron Hartley of Canyon Lake, California. This season, he has earned $288,538 of his $391,098 career bankroll and has won seven of eight victories, for a total of 11 wins in 18 career races.

You might say that winning is in his blood. Bred by Vessels Stallion Farm LLC, who knows a few things about breeding fast horses, he is by champion Separatist and out of the champion First Down Dash mare Your First Moon.

Like his son, Separatist slept in the barn of John Cooper. And also like his son, Separatist won three derbies in his sophomore year, including the Golden State. The gray son of Chicks Beduino was out of the Hempen (TB) mare Separate Ways. Bred, as so many top runners are, by all-time leading breeder Dr. Ed Allred, Separatist was the sport’s champion 2-year-old in 1999 after a 13-8-2-1 campaign that saw him win the Governor’s Cup Futurity (RG1) and California Sires Cup Futurity (RG2), finish second in the Golden State Futurity (G1) and Los Alamitos Million Futurity (G1), and qualify to the Kindergarten Futurity (G1) and Ed Burke Futurity (G1) while earning $599,931.

Separatist returned the next year to win eight of 11 starts, including five stakes: the Jet Deck Handicap, Governor’s Cup Derby (RG1), Golden State Derby (G1), PCQHRA Breeders’ Derby (G2), and Z. Wayne Griffin Director’s Trial (G3). He also finished second in the Los Alamitos Derby (G1) and fourth in the Champion of Champions (G1).

From there, Separatist headed to the breeding shed, where from 11 crops he has sired the earners of more than $20 million. Among them are 622 winners from 946 starters (66 percent) and world champion DM Shicago ($1,873,730) and champion Inseperable ($672,756).

 “He’s as good as his daddy was,” Cooper said after Sunday’s race, comparing Moonist to Seperatist. “I know that it’s a different time and different rivals, but I think Moonist is comparable to Separatist. In two jumps Separatist could daylight a horse. Moonist can’t do that, but he’s got it at the end of races. He can do that; he can finish a race pretty good. He’s now matched his daddy’s record for derby wins.”

Dam Your First Moon was decidedly not a slouch on the track herself. The daughter of First Down Dash out of the Beduino (TB) mare Moon Arisen, Your First Moon was foaled in 1999.

In her freshman season, she won the Governor’s Cup Futurity (RG1) and Los Alamitos Million Futurity (G1), was third in the Kindergarten Futurity (G1) and was a finalist in the Ed Burke Futurity (G1). She was the champion 2-year-old and champion 2-year-old filly.

After making one start as a sophomore, she retired to the breeding barn. From nine starters, she has produced seven winners, including three stakes winners.

Moonist is her biggest runner to date, but she is also the dam of stakes winner Jess My Moon (by Mr Jess Perry, $78,150), and the much-discussed Grade 3 winner Stray Cat ($58,638), the only American Quarter Horse progeny of celebrated Thoroughbred sire Storm Cat. She is also the dam of Tickin Away (by Apollo (TB)), dam of stakes winner Hot Tickin ($36,993).

Your First Moon’s dam, Moon Arisen, was a Grade 1 finalist in her 11-race career.

In addition to Your First Moon, she gave to the racing world the Grade 1-placed runner Sunset Dash (by First Down Dash, $250,795), Grade 1 winner Not A Full Moon (by First Down Dash, $271,962) and Moonlight Corona (by Corona Cartel, $61,642), winner of the 2009 Your First Moon Stakes and dam of track record setter Stroller ($40,212).

Peel this pedigree back a couple more generations, and you find the great American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame member Ought To Go, one of the foundation producers for Vessels. She joins her second dam, Do Good, in the Hall of Fame.

To exhaustively list the top horses from this family would require a book, so I will give you just a few highlights:

*Grade 1 winner Check Her Twice, and her son, Grade 1 winner and sire Check Him Out,

*Champions Old Habits, Hateful Hanna, Hardly Hateful and Solvency,

*Sires Mr Eye Opener, Special Leader, Fishers Dash, First Down Illusion, Whole Lot Of Karma, Scrutinizer, etc., and

*All American Futurity finalist Daring Difference, and recent stakes winner Tallulah Moon.

Sure’nuff, winning must be in Moonist’s blood.

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