LARC NEWS Posted: 7/27/2014 7:03:07 AM


     Ron Hartley’s Moonist (left) is now a two-time derby winner at Los Alamitos following his flawless effort in the $189,238 Governor’s Cup Derby at 400 yards. Bred by Vessels Stallion Farm LLC, Moonist was second early on, but he was too much at the end on the way pulling away to a half-length victory in a time of :19.573. His winning time was the fastest 400-yard clocking of the night.

“He’s a point in his career now that when he hooks another horse he doesn’t let them go past him,” said trainer John Cooper. “He’s not the best 3-year-old in the nation, but he’s getting there. He’s really good right now.”

Sired by Separatist and out of Los Alamitos Million Futurity winner Your First Moon, Moonist earned $81,102 for the win to take his lifetime earnings to $292,206. He’s also won nine of 16 career starts. The brown gelding won the El Primero Del Ano Derby earlier this season and is currently riding the wave of a four –race winning streak with jockey Cesar De Alba aboard.

“There was a time early in his career that he would leave the gate and he didn’t know where he wanted to go,” Cooper added. “He was disqualified from a race once and it cost him a spot in the Golden State Million Futurity. We had to go back to square one to get him to learn. He’s got it together now. He’s doing everything right. I’m very happy for Ron Hartley because he’s a great owner. He never has any complaints. He likes to support the California racing program.”

“This horse is good,” Hartley added. “And he’s good thanks to Mr. Cooper. He does all the work. After trials, he always comes back in good shape. That’s a great thing. He’s always good after the trials.”

Hartley added that Moonist could make his next start in the trials to the PCQHRA Breeders Derby on September 13.

“He’s also eligible to the Southern California Derby trials in December,” Hartley added.

Thompson Racing and Paul Jones’ Foose Is Loose, who came in after posting the fastest qualifying time, ran gamely to earn $32,287 for finishing second. Ramon Sanchez piloted the son of Foose. Jones also saddled third place finisher Another Storm, a Foose gelding he co-owns with Manuel Guerrero.

Well And Good, Dynasty of Habits, Dare To Flair, Flying Top Fueler, Nefertity, and First Rodeo completed the field. Up For It was scratched out of the race. The winner of last year’s Governor’s Cup Futurity has also been retired from racing according to her trainer, Scott Willoughby.

“She’s had foot issues and we don’t want them to become major issues,” Willoughby said. “We’re retiring her.”  

The Kiddy Up filly won three of six career starts and earned $164,280.


John Cooper saddled the talented 2-year-old Bouncer to a head victory in the $25,000 Freshman Stakes for Rod and Anna MacPherson.

“I couldn’t ask for better owners than the ones that I have,” Cooper said. “Ron is a joy to train for and Rod is a great owner as well. Ron has a photographic memory and knows a lot about racing. He cut his teeth with Thoroughbreds back East, but he has outstanding knowledge of Quarter Horses.

“We’ve always like Bouncer a lot,” Cooper said. “Jockey Alejandro Luna helped me with this horse and it paid off with a win.”

A veteran rider with over 600 Quarter Horse victories, Luna noted that he has ridden only a handful of horses for Cooper over the years.

“He gave me an opportunity and I was glad that it worked out,” Luna said.

“This horse is also a second time gelding and that’s helped him a lot,” Cooper said. “He wanted to breed everything that walked past him. We needed to make him a gelding and he’s got his mind on racing now. He used to break in the air. He ran a nice race. He’s in a lot of big races later in the year.”

Sent off at odds of 23-1, Bouncer covered the 350 yards in  :17.669.

Old Six Six, Flying Foose, Off Beat, Cold Cartel, Roaster, Ways To Go, and Vacheron completed the field.


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