Blue Moon Stride favored in Mistletoe Shalee
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Saturday's card at the Meadowlands also includes the Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace, William R. Haughton Memorial, Hambletonian Maturity, and divisions of the Stanley Dancer Memorial and Delvin Miller Memorial.
For her career, Blue Moon Stride has won seven of 19 races and earned $444,362. In addition to her seven victories, she has finished second on seven occasions.
This year, the filly opened her campaign with a sixth-place finish against older horses, but was beaten only 1 3/4 lengths. She then swept three races in the New Jersey Sires Stakes series, culminating with a victory in the $100,000 championship on June 4 at the Meadowlands. She also was the series champion in 2015.
From there, it was on to the James M. Lynch Memorial, where she finished second by a neck to Pure Country in her elimination and second again to Pure Country, this time by a half-length, in the $300,000 final.
Last season, Blue Moon Stride's wins also included divisions of the Arden Downs and Tompkins-Geers stakes. She finished second in the Three Diamonds and divisions of the International Stallion and Bluegrass stakes.
"I always liked her," Harder said. "She was not that great gaited early, but when you got her in top gear she was pretty clean going. She always showed talent right from the get-go."
Blue Moon Stride was purchased as a weanling for $27,000 as part of the Perretti Farms dispersal sale at the 2013 Standardbred Mixed Sale. She is a daughter of Rocknroll Hanover out of the mare Classic Star. Mom is a full sister to Dan Patch Award-winners Bettor's Delight and Roll With Joe and a half-sister to 2003 Horse of the Year No Pan Intended.
"We went to buy (Blue Moon Stride's) yearling sister at the sale, but we passed on her," Harder said. "Even though (Blue Moon Stride) was a little bit on the small side, we took a chance on her. As soon as we got her home, she just took off (growing). She's just one of those horses that grew more later than early. She's a big filly now."
A big filly with a little bit of attitude.
"She's got a little fight to her," Harder said. "She's got that little nastiness to her and it shows up on the racetrack. Nothing seems to bother her too much.
"She's just a big strong filly sort of right on top of her game right now." (HRC)