Magnum Moon Heads Back to Florida After Arkansas Derby

Jose Verdugo
Abril 16, 2018

Magnum Moon has won the 82nd running of the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park and placed himself as a big contender for the 144th Kentucky Derby on May 5. "I let my horse settle and he did very nicely".

A $300,000 Keeneland yearling purchase, Magnum Moon has bankrolled $1,177,800 for longtime Oaklawn patrons Robert and Lawana Low.

Magnum Moon, who's won all four of his career starts, battled through the early crowd to take the lead and never relinquished it. "Aside from that, I thought he finished with good energy and was pulling away from some nice horses".

Quip stayed right off Magnum Moon's neck through quarter-mile fractions of:23.34 and:48.60 and had drawn about on even terms with the pacesetter as they rounded the far turn.

Magnum Moon covered the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:49.86 on a track rated fast with Quip holding on for place money. The Springfield, Mo., couple finished second in Lawyer Ron's Arkansas Derby and third in Barbaro's Kentucky Derby with Steppenwolfer, trained by Arkansan Dan Peitz, in 2006.

"We were in a good position; he broke really sharp", said Saez.

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A last-out Grade 2 victor at Tampa Bay Downs, where Magnum Moon made his second start, Quip shadowed his rival down the backstretch. "When I came to the stretch I felt like he was looking at the gate marks so when he got there I touched him a little and he went".

"He had me anxious to death when I saw we were on the lead". When Luis (Saez on Magnum Moon) smooched to his horse, I knew he wanted the lead. Following an allowance win at Tampa Bay Downs on February 15, Magnum Moon let it be known he was a legit contender in a 3-year-old class packed with talent when he captured the March 17, Grade 2 Rebel Stakes by 3 1/2 lengths over Grade 1-placed Solomini.

Of Magnum Moon, "He had me anxious to death when I saw we were on the lead", said Robert Low. "But, Luis (Saez) gave him a masterful ride".

Third finisher Solomini (Curlin) will go in the Derby, according to Zayat Stables' racing and stallion manager Justin Zayat.

Magnum Moon is one of Pletcher's four Kentucky Derby prospects with Audible (Florida Derby), Noble Indy (Louisiana Derby) and Vino Rosso (Wood Memorial) also coming off major stakes victories.

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