11/16/2004 12:00AM

Declan's Moon impresses

Mark Cornelison
Declan's Moon (right), beating Roman Ruler in the Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 8, will make his first start since then in Saturday's Hollywood Prevue.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Declan's Moon pummeled a good older horse in a team workout Tuesday morning at Hollywood Park, blazing five furlongs in 58.80 seconds and looking like a genuine odds-on favorite for the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue on Saturday. The seven-furlong Prevue is the first start for Declan's Moon since a Sept. 8 victory in the Del Mar Futurity, and trainer Ron Ellis left nothing to chance in the 7:30 a.m. work. He said it was the first time Declan's Moon had worked in company and only the second time jockey Victor Espinoza has been on his back. Espinoza also rode him in the Del Mar Futurity.

Breaking off at the half-mile pole, two lengths behind the $40,000 claimer Power Boy, Declan's Moon stalked Power Boy to near the eighth pole, powered to the lead, and was in front by more than five lengths by the end of the work.

"I wanted to stay with the other one a little bit longer, but I couldn't," Espinoza said.

Ellis said he was happy with the team work.

"I've been pretty easy on him. I wanted to let him feel some competition," Ellis said. "I think he was well within himself."

The time of 58.80 was the fastest five-furlong move on the day by a full second. Declan's Moon completed the work effortlessly and was a picture of composure minutes later at Ellis's barn. Owned by the Jay Em Ess Stable of Jan Siegel and her daughter, Samantha, Declan's Moon has a chance to lay claim to the 2-year-old championship by winning the Prevue and the Grade 1 Hollywood Futurity Dec. 18.

Four other Prevue runners are confirmed: Seize the Day, Bushwacker, Megabyte, and Southern Africa.

Roman Ruler out until winter

Roman Ruler's name keeps popping up as a possible Hollywood Futurity starter, but trainer Bob Baffert said Roman Ruler will not run again until winter at Santa Anita. Roman Ruler underwent surgery to remove an undescended testicle after the Breeders' Cup and is not in serious training. Remnants of the surgery are now part of Baffert's office decor: the removed testicle sits in a jar on a shelf in Baffert's stable office.

Baffert said he has no plans for Western Hemisphere, who was scratched from the Cat's Cradle Handicap on Sunday.

"I was going to run her, but I changed my mind," Baffert said, adding, "We're going to freshen her up."

Sabiango will get a break

Another horse that will be freshened is Grade 1 winner Sabiango, trained by Baffert's former assistant Tim Yakteen. Sabiango originally was scheduled for the Grade 1 Hollywood Turf Cup on Dec. 4, but Yakteen said Tuesday, "We're going to pass on the Turf Cup and give him some time."

Icantgoforthat severely hurt

Graded stakes winner Icantgo-forthat, a 5-year-old mare slated for retirement and broodmare duty next spring, is fighting for her life after sustaining a serious injury during a routine gallop Friday at Santa Anita. Trainer Steve Knapp said Icantgoforthat broke both sesamoids in her left leg, an injury that frequently leaves little choice but to euthanize a horse. Icantgoforthat was heavily insured, and the company that wrote the policy will pull out all stops to save her. Veterinarians told Knapp the success rate for this particular surgery is about 40 percent.

"It's risky surgery," Knapp said. "They go in and fuse the ankle."

Icantgoforthat was shipped from Santa Anita to Chino Valley Equine Hospital on Tuesday, and was to undergo surgery late Tuesday or Wednesday morning. Knapp said Icantgoforthat would remain at the facility for 10 days before returning to his Santa Anita stable. Knapp did not specify the amount Icantgoforthat was insured for. Knapp and partners claimed her for $50,000 in late 2001. Icantgoforthat has won seven races and $472,484 from 35 starts. Her biggest wins were in 2003, when she won the Grade 3 Monrovia and $107,000 Survive handicaps.

O'Neill says he's staying put

With the largest stable in Southern California - it typically hovers at about 80 horses in training - trainer Doug O'Neill is a prime candidate to expand his operation to other states. But O'Neill, 36, is in no rush to follow California trainers Mike Mitchell and Jeff Mullins, who plan to open divisions in Florida.

"I'm very happy here, with no plans of going anywhere," O'Neill said Tuesday at his barn at Hollywood Park.

O'Neill entered the third week of the meet at Hollywood atop the standings, with six wins, and has started almost twice the number of horses of any other trainer - 35 runners.

"I'm content here," O'Neill said.

O'Neill said he's hoping the loss of some of Mitchell's and Mullins's horses to another state will put pressure on industry regulators and legislators to make changes that will benefit horsemen.

For O'Neill, Florida is only a plane ride away. After winning the $200,000 Carl G. Rose Classic Saturday at Calder with Supah Blitz, O'Neill said he plans to return to Florida with Supah Blitz for the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic on Jan. 29 at Gulfstream Park.

"That's the beauty of having Supah Blitz," he said. "We can just put him on a plane and go down there."

O'Neill said it was unlikely that Supah Blitz would make another start before then. "He might just be a happy, fresh horse going down there," he said.

Sharp Lisa to Hollywood Starlet

O'Neill will seek a Grade 1 victory next month with Sharp Lisa, who finished sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. The Hollywood Starlet will be run Dec. 19.

"Is Sweet Catomine running?" O'Neill asked. When told Sweet Catomine wasn't running, he responded, "Good, then that's the target."

Trainer Julio Canani said Sweet Catomine, the BC Juvenile Fillies winner, will not run in the Starlet. It means Sharp Lisa will enter the race with a decided speed-figure advantage over Starlet probable Splendid Blended. Sharp Lisa's three most recent Beyer Figures are 89, 90, and 84. Splendid Blended's last three Beyers are 80, 84, and 78.