(from Santa Anita notes)
Former juvenile champion Declan's Moon is expected to make just his fourth start since March 2005 in the San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II) on Jan. 6. The 1 1/16-mile event is a leading prep for the Santa Anita Handicap presented by San Miguel Indian Bingo & Casino (gr. I) on March 3.
The Ron Ellis trainee, who'll be 5 when the San Pasqual is run, has been blanked in his three starts since taking the 2005 Santa Catalina (gr. II, now the Robert B. Lewis Stakes) in his 3-year-old debut.
The gelded son of Malibu Moon most recently ran third in the six-furlong Vernon O. Underwood (gr. III) at Hollywood Park Dec. 3. Before that, he finished seventh and last by 24 lengths in the seven-furlong Pat O’Brien Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar Aug. 20.
“He hasn’t hit his best form, that’s for sure,” said the 46-year-old Ellis when asked about bringing Declan’s Moon to an uninterrupted regimen.
“He had a lung infection in the Del Mar race and in his last race; I don’t think he’s a typical sprinter. I always thought he was a two-turn horse, and he got caught going :44 flat (for a half mile) in the Underwood, and it gave him more than he wanted to do. He should be more suited to the distance on Saturday.”
Declan’s Moon, owned by the Jay Em Ess Stable of Mace and Samantha Siegel, won the first five starts of his career.