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Moon Star faces difficult test at Quinte Friday
July 11, 2005
By Sandra Snyder

BELLEVILLE, ON — Quinte Exhibition Raceway fans will be treated to a speed show on Friday evening when Ontario’s finest three-year-old pacing colts arrive in town to compete for a total of $120,000 in eight Grassroots divisions.

With 50 points earned from a pair of runner-up finishes in the first two Grassroots events, William James was hoping that Moon Star could add a few more points to his total on Friday, but after landing Post 7 in the first division the Blackstock resident is less than optimistic.

“Post 7 is the kiss of death,” says the veteran horseman. “He can leave good, but at Belleville it doesn’t matter if you can leave, you’re in Lake Ontario before the first turn.

"Oh well, I’ve had the rail a couple of times.”

Moon Star has been on a roll since the start of the Ontario Sires Stakes season. The Northern Luck son finished second in the Grassroots season opener at Grand River Raceway on May 23, posted a victory in a personal best 1:55.1 at Kawartha Downs on June 11, and then dished out two more runner-up efforts in a June 21 overnight at Kawartha and the second Grassroots event July 1 at Clinton Raceway.

“He can get around a half-mile, but he does get rough,” notes James. “He puts in a few extra steps on the turns, but so do I when I’m dancing.

“He’s a nice horse, he tries.”

James acquired Moon Star as a yearling, anteing up $7,500 at the 2003 Northern Standardbred Sale on the basis of the young pacer’s looks and his pedigree.

"I used to have this horse’s grandmother, Jo Car Lyn,” says James. “That’s why I bought him. I liked him and I knew the daughter (Branat Jo Jo) wasn’t any good, but her mother was.”

Jo Car Lyn earned $251,234 through her career and was the second of three outstanding mares from the same family that James developed, the other two being $153,422 winner Lyn Jo Car and $203,344 winner Car Lyn Jo.

James opted not to race Moon Star as a two-year-old, waiting until March to send the youngster out for his first race. Since then the gelding has amassed a record of two wins and four seconds in 12 starts for earnings of $17,500.

“I don’t believe in racing many two-year-olds,” explains the trainer. “I didn’t do anything with him until last November, then I started getting him ready to race. As a two-year-old I just broke him.”

Now that the gelding is racing every week, he is on a schedule that includes lots of turn out time and very little training.

“I hardly ever train them at home because they race every seven days. This week I won’t train him at all,” says James. “And he goes out all night. I turn him out at 6 or 7 pm and bring him back in at 7 in the morning.”

That schedule should help Moon Star earn enough points to secure a berth in the Oct. 7 Grassroots Semifinal, in spite of the odd Post 7 along the way.

Quinte Exhibition Raceway sends its first race into the starter’s hands at 7:35 pm on Friday, with the three-year-old pacing colts taking over the program from Race 3 to 10.

For a complete list of entries for Friday’s program please go to: