05/04/2005 11:00PM

Fencelineneighbor looks for redemption


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Fencelineneighbor and House of Fortune, who ran disappointing races at Oaklawn Park in recent months, will attempt to rebound when they start in Saturday's $100,000 Hawthorne Handicap at Hollywood Park.

Both will have to contend with Hollywood Story, who has already won two graded stakes over the Hollywood Park main track and is training well for John Shirreffs.

The winner of the San Gorgonio Handicap at Santa Anita in January, finished fifth in the Grade 3 Azeri Breeders' Cup Handicap at Oaklawn Park in March. Trainer Mike Machowsky has thrown out that performance.

"She was struggling the whole way around there and wasn't comfortable," Machowsky said. "We put a line through that race."

Owned by Amerman Racing, Fencelineneighbor is likely to be close to the pace in the Grade 3 Hawthorne, run at 1 1/16 miles.

"I think she's sitting on another big one," Machowsky said.

, the winner of the Hollywood Oaks last year, was sixth in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap on April 9. She has been off the board in her last three starts, but worked well here last Saturday.

deserves to be favored. She won the Bayakoa Handicap here last December and was a troubled second in the Santa Maria Handicap at Santa Anita in February.

Declan's Moon at home on big day

Declan's Moon, the champion 2-year-old male of 2004, will have a quiet Saturday at trainer Ron Ellis's stable at Santa Anita.

Two months ago, he looked every bit like a Kentucky Derby contender when he won his seasonal debut in the Santa Catalina Stakes. A week later, he was found to have a bone chip in a knee.

During his recovery, Declan's Moon is sometimes having trouble channeling his energy while he prepares for a comeback in the fall.

"He doesn't like being confined," said owner Samantha Siegel. "He bit me."

Declan's Moon is unbeaten in five starts and has earned $627,300. During his championship season, he won three stakes, including the Hollywood Futurity in December.

When he won the Santa Catalina by two lengths in early March, he beat Kentucky Derby entrants Going Wild and Spanish Chestnut.

Declan's Moon is currently walking. Siegel said the knee surgery on March 19 went well and that Declan's Moon will start racetrack exercise in coming weeks.

A start at the Oak Tree meeting in the fall is likely.

"I figure, knowing Ron and how he doesn't want to run a short horse, and with our schedule around here, I'd say optimistically October," Siegel said. "Things would have to go extraordinarily well to make Del Mar."

Mel Stute thinks brother has a shot

Warren Stute received little advice from younger brother Mel before traveling to Louisville earlier this week to start Greeley's Galaxy in the Kentucky Derby.

But then again, the two men have been there before.

Warren, 83, finished 13th in 1967 with Field Master; Mel, 77, has had two starters, including Snow Chief, who finished 11th in 1986 as the favorite.

Snow Chief rebounded from his loss to win the Preakness Stakes. It remains the only Triple Crown win for the brothers Stute.

"I never figured out what happened that day," Mel Stute said of the Derby loss. "It was the only bad race he ran, except for the day he got hurt."

Greeley's Galaxy is coming off a win in the Illinois Derby at Hawthorne. But the quality of that race has been questioned, leaving Greeley's Galaxy as a longshot.

With several top contenders having won their prep races by wide margins, Mel Stute, a sharp handicapper, feels the race is wide open.

"I think he's got a helluva shot," Mel Stute said of Greeley's Galaxy. "I did tell him you have to have a fit horse. You can't go in there with a half-fit horse."