Moonlight Shadow stole the sunshine at Tioga Downs in the afternoon’s opener, scoring a big win in 1:50.4. Driven by Joseph Chindano Jr., the Indiana sired gelding picked up his third win of the season in the conditioned pace event.
Moonlight Shadow started from post one, but it was Warrawee Veloce and Tyler Jones who battled with Some Deal Hanover and Wally Hennessey for the top spot. Some Deal Hanover had the inside locked down but Warrawee Veloce was determined to make it to the front, clearing after the quarter in :26.1. Some Deal Hanover was back out to challenge and kept the pace brisk as he was the leader by the half in :54.1. Moonlight Shadow followed along in third, but was then ready to take his shot at the front end. The five-year-old Panther Hanover gelding was out with a big burst of speed to challenge Some Deal Hanover, matching him stride for stride past the three-quarters in 1:21.4.
Moonlight Shadow continued to keep the pace lively and finally put Some Deal Hanover away at the top of the stretch. It didn’t take Warrawee Veloce long to move up to challenge on the outside. Also in the lane, Kilowatt Kid N and Michael Merton split horses along the inside and came up to challenge on the inside. But Moonlight Shadow held his ground, winning by a neck at the wire over Kilowatt Kid N. Warrawee Veloce was another length back in third.
Moonlight Shadow paid $15.20 for the win. He is trained by James Scarpias and owned by him along with Gus Scarpias. Regina Miller bred the gelding, who now has eight career wins in 55 starts and earnings of more than $131,000. The race marked a new career best for Moonlight Shadow, who was claimed at Yonkers Raceway in early April. This was his first start at Tioga this season. The gelding has never raced in Indiana. His career started at Harrah’s Philadelphia and he has continued to race on the East Coast throughout his career.
Moonlight Shadow was part of the first crop of Panther Hanover in Indiana. He was a private acquisition and is the last foal from the Storm Damage mare Hillcrest Sweetie, who was a near 100 percent producer with Red Scooter being her richest and quickest foal with a mark of 1:50.2 and earnings of more than $400,000. Overall, she has four with earnings over $100,000 and four with marks under 1:53.0.