Declan's Moon, Proud Accolade Prep for Futurity Clash

(from Hollywood Park notes)
Declan's Moon and Proud Accolade, two leading contenders for the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) on Saturday, completed drills for the 1 1/16-mile race with five-furlong works here Sunday.

Unbeaten Declan's Moon was timed in a bullet :58 3/5 seconds under jockey Victor Espinoza while Champagne Stakes (gr. I) winner Proud Accolade was clocked in 1:01 4/5 breezing under exercise rider Corey Black.

Declan's Moon, Proud Accolade and Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Wilko are expected to head the lineup in a Futurity, which could well decide the Eclipse Award for 2-year-old colt or gelding champion. Wilko is scheduled for one more drill, probably Tuesday, according to Craig Dollase, who took over his training after the Breeders' Cup.

"He went just like I wanted," said trainer Ron Ellis of Declan's Moon's work. "He was cruising all the way."

Jay Em Ess Stable co-owner Samantha Siegel said she could not wait for Saturday. "Beautiful," she said of the work. "I hate to say it, but it's what we've come to expect."

Declan's Moon, a Maryland-bred gelding, is unbeaten in three starts, including the Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) and the Hollywood Prevue Stakes (gr. III) in his last two efforts.

"Proud Accolade's work was good," said Michael McCarthy, assistant to Todd Pletcher. "He went the first eighth in 13, textbook. He worked with blinkers for the second time. He worked by himself today. His last work here was in company. He's acclimated well. His disposition is great. He seems eager to train."

Track clocker Russell Hudak caught the Padua Stable colt in a closing quarter of 23 4/5.

John Velazquez, the national leader in purse earnings this year, will again ride Proud Accolade. The Florida-bred son of Yes It's True scored his third straight victory in the Champagne at Belmont Park before suffering his first defeat with a sixth-place finish in the BC Juvenile.

Hollywood Prevue runner-up Bushwacker, another Futurity probable, worked a mile in 1:40 1/5 Saturday for trainer and co-owner Bill Currin. "He was very comfortable and relaxed," said Currin. Kent Desormeaux worked the colt, although Rene Douglas has the Futurity call.

Expected to join those four are South Africa (Tyler Baze), the fourth-place finisher in the Prevue in his United States debut. Lucky Bid (Desormeaux) comes off a 10th-place finish on turf in the Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT). Also expected is General Jumbo (David Flores), an English invader scheduled to be flown to Hllywood Monday and clear quarantine Wednesday.

Giacomo, another possibility, worked six furlongs in 1:12 here Saturday for trainer John Shirreffs.