Champion Moonist Dies

The two-time champion lost his battle with colic on Tuesday.

Quarter Racing Journal

Two-time champion Moonist died on Tuesday. PHOTO: Scott Martinez

Ron Hartley's Moonist, the sport's reigning aged champion, died on June 21, due to complications of colic.

Moonist was undefeated in four starts this season, including the Los Alamitos Winter Championship (G1) over world champion Heza Dasha Fire, and was the fastest qualifier to the July 3 Vessels Maturity (G1) at Los Alamitos.

The 5-year-old Separatist gelding, trained by John Cooper, won 24 of 34 races and earned $878,468.

His 12 stakes victories include the 2014 Golden State Derby (G1), 2015 Go Man Go Handicap (G1), 2015 Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational (G1), El Primero Del Ano Derby (G3), Governor's Cup Derby (RG3), Kaweah Bar Handicap (G3), PCQHRA Breeders' Derby, Golden State Juvenile (R), Los Alamitos Two Million Juvenile (R) and Katella Handicap.

He placed in three additional Grade 1s, including a courageous second in Heza Dasha Fire's 2015 Champion of Champions (G1).

He was the sport's champion 3-year-old and champion 3-year-old gelding in 2014, and the reigning champion aged horse and champion aged gelding. He is an AQHA Supreme Race Horse.

Moonist was bred in California by Vessels Stallion Farm and was a $21,500 yearling purchase at the 2012 Los Alamitos Equine Sale. He was out of the champion Your First Moon, a daughter of First Down Dash.

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