05/17/2005 12:00AM

Declan's Moon progressing steadily

Benoit & Associates
Declan's Moon, shown winning the Santa Catalina Stakes, will begin walking under tack June 1, said trainer Ron Ellis.

ARCADIA, Calif. - The vacation is just about over for 2-year-old champion Declan's Moon, who was knocked out of the Triple Crown races with a knee injury following his March 5 win in the Grade 2 Santa Catalina Stakes. He was acting his usual feisty self in his Santa Anita stall on Tuesday, pinning his ears and threatening to bite anyone who came close.

An unbeaten gelding, Declan's Moon underwent surgery March 19 to remove a chip from his left knee, and trainer Ron Ellis said he would start walking under tack June 1. "We'll start him back a little slow and have him ready to run in October," he said.

Declan's Moon has won five races and $627,300 for owners Mace and Samantha Siegel.

Saturday at Churchill Downs, Ellis will supervise a workout by Don't Get Mad, who finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby after winning the Derby Trial just one week before. Ellis said his tentative goal for Don't Get Mad is the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes on May 28 at Belmont Park.

"We'll see how he goes, and if [the Peter Pan] seems like it's back too quick, maybe the Northern Dancer," Ellis said.

The Northern Dancer will be run June 18 at Churchill Downs.

Surf Cat's Beyer among best

Surf Cat has burst onto the scene as the fastest 3-year-old in California, and is tied for second-fastest in the country, based on the 112 Beyer Speed Figure he earned Sunday, when he won an allowance at Hollywood Park. The figure ties Surf Cat with Egg Head (May 7 at Delaware Park) and More Smoke (April 10 at Keeneland) as second-fastest this year among 3-year-olds. Bellamy Road's 120 Beyer, earned in his Wood Memorial victory, leads the list; Lost in the Fog earned a 110 Saturday at Golden Gate.

Trainer Bruce Headley said Tuesday that Surf Cat came out of his win "fabulous."

Saturday, the Headley-trained Storm Wolf will try to follow his stablemate's footsteps when he races seven furlongs in the Grade 2 Laz Barrera Handicap. Barring supplemental nominations, a small field is expected for the Barrera.

Storm Wolf followed his seven-length maiden win March 16 with a 7 1/2-length allowance win April 2. "And he's never been hit with a whip," Headley said.

Storm Wolf followed his 104 maiden-race Beyer with a 101 in allowance company.

Brother Derek targets July stakes

Brother Derek, the 2-year-old colt who won his debut Saturday under jockey Alex Solis, will run next in either the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile on July 16 or the $125,000 Graduation Stakes for California-breds July 27 at Del Mar.

"I don't want to over-run him and come out of Del Mar with six starts," said trainer Dan Hendricks. "If I run him once more at Hollywood and twice at Del Mar, I'll have a fresh horse for Oak Tree. I hate to say how good I think he is. Alex said he doesn't feel like he's hitting the ground."

Brother Derek rallied from sixth to win by a half-length and earned a 75 Beyer. He was sired by Benchmark and is a full brother to stakes winner Don'tsellmeshort, who is sidelined until the end of the year with a stress fracture.

"His brother was a pure speed sprinter who finished second going a mile and an eighth, so there's obviously quality in the family," Hendricks said.

Glatt cautious with Elusive Diva

Elusive Diva, the California-based filly scratched from the Grade 2 Genuine Risk on Saturday at Belmont Park, has remained in New York while trainer Mark Glatt weighed her options.

"She spiked a temperature for about 12 hours and probably would have been okay by race day, but it wasn't worth the risk," Glatt said.

Elusive Diva is entered in a turf sprint Friday at Pimlico, but on Tuesday, Glatt said he was uncertain whether she would run. Runaway winner of the Grade 3 Las Cienegas Handicap on April 10 at Santa Anita, Elusive Diva is being aimed for the Grade 2 Just a Game at Belmont on June 11.

* Dream of Summer, winner of the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap, is scheduled to return to training June 1 at Santa Anita. Dream of Summer was turned out after finishing fourth in a Cal-bred stakes April 24 at Hollywood Park.

* Wind Flow, the 5-for-7 stakes winner owned by Peter Walksi and trained by Caesar Dominguez, has been retired and bred to Forestry.

* Wild Uncle Kurt is the early favorite for Sunday's $75,000 Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes, a five-furlong stakes for 2-year-olds. Trained by Mike Harrington, Wild Uncle Kurt won his only start May 1.