Declan's Moon Tightens Up for Santa Catalina

Declan's Moon Tightens Up for Santa Catalina
Photo: Patty Yount
Spanish Chestnut among Santa Catalina rivals who worked Saturday.
Champion Declan's Moon, getting ready to start in the Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita March 5, worked seven furlongs in 1:25 3/5 at Hollywood Park under regular jockey Victor Espinoza Saturday.

Declan's Moon drilled in company with stablemate Power Boy, who clocked the distance in 1:25 4/5.

The gelded son of Malibu Moon  , who went a half-mile in :49 3/5 and the last three-eighths in :36, was caught galloping out the extra furlong in 1:38 3/5.

"He got a great workout," trainer Ron Ellis said. "Victor was just standing straight up on him. The best part was that he galloped out four lengths in front of Power Boy. The track was pretty deep today and if anything, it was a touch slow."

Owned by Jay Em Ess Stable, the Maryland-bred Declan's Moon was crowned last year's outstanding 2-year-old colt or gelding after an undefeated season that included the Del Mar Futurity (gr. II), Hollywood Prevue Stakes (gr. III) and Hollywood Futurity (gr. I). The Santa Catalina will be the colt's first start since winning his Eclipse Award. He's earned $507,300.

Ellis also sent out San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) runner-up Don't Get Mad for a half-mile breeze in :49 at Hollywood in preparation for the March 19 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II). The son of Stephen Got Even  , owned by B. Wayne Hughes, has won two of his three career starts and has banked $90,290.

Across town at Santa Anita, San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) hero Spanish Chestnut, who will take on Declan's Moon in the Santa Catalina, breezed seven-eighths in 1:26. Stablemate Scipion, who captured the Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds in his last start, went six furlongs in 1:14 4/5 in company with Formal Attire, who earned the same time. Scipion is set to return to Louisiana for the March 12 Louisiana Derby (gr. II).

"I am very, very happy with Spanish Chestnut," trainer Patrick Biancone said. "He's a horse who we've put a lot of work into. He needed today's breeze and he did it very well in hand.

"I'm delighted with Scipion's work. We're very lucky with his program as it fits better with the bad weather. If you look at the weather patterns, horses who've raced in the middle of the month are better off than the horses who raced at the beginning of the month."

Though Spanish Chestnut missed a work, Biancone isn't too worried about any ill effects on the Florida-bred son of Horse Chestnut for Saturday's 1 1/16-mile race.

"It won't be a problem, but with this weather horses who've just run have an edge. That's why Lukas' horse (Going Wild, who won the Sham Stakes on Feb. 5) is the one to beat."

Spanish Chestnut has won three of five starts with two seconds for earnings of $174,420. Scipion, who has reached the winner's circle twice in five starts with two thirds, has banked $143,240. Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens will be aboard both colts for their next starts.

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