Declan's Moon Jogs; October Return Possible

Jay Em Ess Stable's champion Declan's Moon jogged a mile Wednesday at Santa Anita in his first return to the track after undergoing surgery to remove a bone chip from his left knee in early March. Trainer Ron Ellis said the undefeated son of Malibu Moon   is being pointed toward an October return.

"He jogged a mile," Ellis said. "We rode him around under tack for a week before he went back to the track. He looked good. He didn't gain any weight, which is good when you go back to work. It's easier to put on muscle than it is to lose fat."

Declan's Moon, who won the Eclipse Award as the country's top 2-year-old male of 2004 after a campaign that included victories in three graded stakes – the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I), Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) and Hollywood Prevue Stakes (gr. III) – came back to win his only start as a sophomore, capturing the Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) in March by two lengths.

Considered the early Kentucky Derby (gr. I) favorite, the dark brown Maryland-bred gelding emerged from the Santa Catalina with the knee injury and was removed from Triple Crown consideration.

"Hopefully we'll have him ready (to race) in October," Ellis said. "I don't know that they'll have (a race) here like a classified allowance for 3-year-olds so we may have to go back east. I know Keeneland has a race for 3-year-olds going seven-eighths, so we may do that. We'll get him ready and then look around.

"His knee looks great and he tracked great today. I'm going to try to jog him for a couple of weeks, if he lets me, and then start galloping and go on from there."

Declan's Moon has won each of his five starts for earnings of $627,300.

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