09/08/2004 11:00PM

Futurity stars earn top Beyers

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Declan's Moon (right) beats Roman Ruler by a neck in Wednesday's Del Mar Futurity, earning a 107 Beyer Figure. The connections of both horses are undecided for their next races, saying they may train up to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

DEL MAR, Calif. - The fastest young guns in the West are the fastest guns in the country. Declan's Moon and Roman Ruler ran one-two in a thrilling Del Mar Futurity on closing day Wednesday. The race earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 107, the top number of the year among 2-year-olds.

Both emerged from the race in good shape, their trainers said Thursday morning, but their immediate plans are yet to be determined. Ron Ellis, the trainer of Declan's Moon, said plans hinged on the desires of owners Mace and Samantha Siegel.

"I have to talk to Sam, but if they hope to point for the Derby, I might pull a Zito and skip the Breeders' Cup," Ellis said, referring to trainer Nick Zito's penchant for bypassing the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. "They also might want to strike while the iron is hot, and it's hard to argue against that mentality. But if we do run in the Breeders' Cup, I'd probably train up to it."

The Breeders' Cup is Oct. 30 at Lone Star Park.

"It wouldn't bother me to train up to it, especially coming out of a hard effort," Ellis said. "He'd have a little extra time, plus he'd have to ship. He had five weeks coming into this race. He acts like an older horse. He's much more mature than just the two races he's had."

Bob Baffert, the trainer of Roman Ruler, also is considering training up to the Breeders' Cup but said no decision would be made for a couple of weeks.

"I'll play it by ear, let the horse dictate things," Baffert said. "As hard as he ran, I want to freshen him up now. He had two hard races at Del Mar. You've got to be careful when they start running 107. You hate to run that hard, that fast, and get beat. He got a lot out of the race. He was a tired puppy after the race, but he wasn't knocked out this morning."

Declan's Moon won the Grade 2, $245,000 Del Mar Futurity by a neck after a sensational stretch duel. Roman Ruler, who earned a 106 Beyer, finished 9 1/2 lengths clear of third-place Swiss Lad. Gentleman Count, the early pacesetter, faded to finish last in the field of four. Allright, Chandtrue, and Notarized were scratched earlier in the day.

Racing over a track rated fast, Declan's Moon ($14.40) covered seven furlongs in a swift 1:21.29 under Victor Espinoza. The time was a stakes record.

Declan's Moon won his lone previous start July 31, when he beat maidens by five lengths in a 14-1 surprise. But he took a backseat in the pre-race buildup to Roman Ruler, who had won both his starts in breathtaking fashion, including the Best Pal Stakes here on Aug. 15. Roman Ruler was sent off at 1-10, with Declan's Moon the second choice at 6-1.

Declan's Moon is a gelding by Malibu Moon. Samantha Siegel purchased him for $125,000 on behalf of her and her father's Jay Em Ess Stable at a yearling sale in Maryland a year ago.

McIngvale horses to Hines

Jim McIngvale, whose West Coast horses had been trained by Baffert, has moved all 15 to trainer Nick Hines. Included in the bunch are multiple stakes winner During and Louisiana Derby winner Wimbledon, who has been sidelined since the spring with a tendon injury.

"During's target is the Breeders' Cup," Hines said Thursday. "The Breeders' Cup is in Mr. McIngvale's home state."

McIngvale, known as "Mattress Mac," owns Gallery Furniture in Houston. Hines, known for his animated antics when he wins races, said he and McIngvale are a "personality match."

"He's quite a bit more eccentric than I am - unless I'm winning," Hines said. "He goes to work at eight in the morning and leaves at midnight, and he's expecting the same dedication from me."

BC Mile possible for Statement

Statement may be on his way to the Breeders' Cup Mile after winning his second stakes of the Del Mar meeting in Wednesday's $76,900 Live the Dream Handicap.

Ridden by Martin Pedroza, Statement ($24.60) rallied from fourth to catch Cayoke in the final stride, winning the one-mile turf race by a head in 1:34.29.

Tsigane finished third in a strong field of 10.

Trainer Kristin Mulhall cautioned that Statement is not a definite for the BC Mile, pending the result of his next start. She wants Pedroza to stay aboard and may choose the $250,000 Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita on Oct. 9 as a prep race for Statement.

"I'm not thinking about that yet," she said of the BC Mile. "He'd have to step up."

Statement won the restricted Wickerr Handicap on July 31. Earlier this year, he finished second in the Grade 2 Arcadia Handicap at Santa Anita.

By Seattle Slew, Statement has won 8 of 32 starts and $374,068.

Lady Sabrina gets her stakes

Lady Sabrina, claimed on Aug. 19 for $50,000, scored her first stakes win in the $81,550 California Equine Retirement Foundation Handicap on Wednesday.

The CERF Handicap marked Lady Sabrina's first start for partners Nick Barron, Randy Barrett and Roncelli Family Trust, and trainer Steve Knapp. She won by seven lengths the day she was claimed.

Ridden on Wednesday by Victor Espinoza, Lady Sabrina ($8.40) stalked pacesetter Papa to Kinzie through fast fractions of 21.17 and 43.98 seconds, took the lead in early stretch, and pulled away to win by four lengths. Lady Sabrina, 4, finished six furlongs in 1:10.40.

Jetinto Houston, who won the 2003 Irish O'Brien Stakes at Santa Anita, rallied from last in the field of five fillies and mares to finish second. Papa to Kinzie faded to finish third.

Solis to have MRI on vertebra

Jockey Alex Solis, who has been sidelined since July 23 with a fractured vertebra, was scheduled to have an MRI on Thursday afternoon, the results of which would determine whether Solis could remove the plastic brace he has worn since the July 23 accident. Regardless, Solis will not be able to ride again until Jan. 1 at the earliest, said his agent, Scotty McClellan.

* Wednesday's pick six pool, boosted by a one-day carryover of $295,875 and a mandatory payout because it was closing day, totaled $2,575,625. There were six winning tickets, each worth $260.280.40

- additional reporting by Steve Andersen