Ellis Puts Declan's Moon on Eclipse Course

(from Hollywood Park report)
Chasing a possible Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old, unbeaten Declan's Moon returns to action in Saturday's Hollywood Prevue Stakes (gr. III) where his competition in the seven-furlong event will include Seize the Day, a smashing 11-length winner of his only start.

Trained by Ron Ellis, Declan's Moon, rated by some as the leading juvenile in 2004, has been pointed to the $100,000 Prevue since upsetting trainer Bob Baffert's acclaimed youngster Roman Ruler in the Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) on Sept. 8.

He will face seven rivals in the elongated sprint, just his third career start. The Prevue serves as a prep for the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) on Dec. 18, a race expected to include upset Breeders' Cup Juvenile champion Wilko and Eastern invader Proud Accolade. As a result, the Futurity is expected to have a definitive bearing on Eclipse voting.

Owned by Jay Em Ess Stable, Declan's Moon has been rested since his determined win by a neck over even-money favorite Roman Ruler at Del Mar.

"We didn't want to crank him up again for the Breeders' Cup," Ellis said afterward. He explained that his plan was to wait for the Hollywood Park stakes races.

"The Hollywood Futurity has a great record for horses that have gone on to the Triple Crown races," Ellis said. "We want him around next year. We think he could be something really special."

An earner of $179,400 for his two victories in as many starts, Declan's Moon was purchased for $125,000 at the 2003 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic yearling sale. He has been training brilliantly for his return and will have Victor Espinoza back aboard on Saturday. He breaks from post five.

Seize the Day was visually impressive while cruising to his maiden romp at Santa Anita on Oct. 11.

"I don't know how he'll do with pressure," said trainer Kristin Mulhall. "But he's coming into this race great. If he makes an easy lead, he'll just keep on galloping."

$100,000 Hollywood Prevue Stakes (gr. III), 2-year-olds, 7 furlongs
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight
1. Southern Africa, Tyler Baze, 115
2. Twice Unbridled, Felipe Martinez, 113
3. Beat the Chalk, Martin Pedroza, 122
4. Power Wave, Miguel Hernandez, 119
5. Declan's Moon, Victor Espinoza, 122
6. Seize the Day, Corey Nakatani, 113
7. Megabyte, Mike Smith, 113
8. Bushwacker, Rene Douglas, 113