06/03/2005 12:00AM

Kruljac rooting for one he sold


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Eric Kruljac had a simple reason for selling Kick the Can for $27,000 at a yearling sale in Arizona in 2003.

"I was putting two kids through college," he said.

Sunday, Kruljac, who trains a stable at Santa Anita, will be rooting for Kick the Can when the 3-year-old filly starts as a longshot in the $175,000 Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park.

A win or placing by Kick the Can in the Grade 2 Honeymoon would greatly enhance the value of her dam, Bint Alriyadh, whom Kruljac owns.

"I've got my fingers crossed," Kruljac said.

Kick the Can, by Game Plan, races for the Sandra Hall Trust and is trained by Lyman Rollins. The filly has won 3 of 12 starts and $61,500.

The race marks Kick the Can's first start away from Turf Paradise. She has won 3 of 7 starts this year, including two stakes - the Jim Weir Memorial on April 23 and the Desert Sky Stakes against older fillies and mares at a mile on turf on May 7.

In the Desert Sky Stakes, she beat her older half-sister Coke's Melody, whom Kruljac trains.

Kruljac bought Bint Alriyadh for $4,600 when she was carrying Coke's Melody. Aside from Coke's Melody, a stakes winner who has won $126,027, Bint Alriyadh has produced a 2-year-old full sister to Kick the Can, a yearling full brother, and a suckling by Storm Creek.

Kruljac said Bint Alriyadh has been bred to Marino Marini.

The 2-year-old has caught his eye with her first workouts.

"She's really fast," he said. "She's a different type than the others."

Kick the Can's sire Game Plan stands for $3,500 at E.A. Ranches in Santa Ysabel, Calif. By Danzig, Game Plan did not race. Game Plan is out of the graded-stakes winner Cadicalling, and is a full brother to the Australian sire Strolling Along.

Game Plan has sired 13 stakes winners, including the Kruljac-trained Fun'ngames Toknite, who won the Cactus Flower Handicap for sprinters at Turf Paradise on April 16.

Bint Alriyadh, who is by the Seattle Slew stallion Taj Alriyadh, won 6 of 17 starts and $62,395. She caught Kruljac's eye because "the female family is tough," he said.

Granted, Kick the Can will be a longshot in the Honeymoon, but Turf Paradise shippers have already won two stakes at the Hollywood Park meeting. Virden won the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes at 26-1 on May 8, while Kresgeville won the Manhattan Beach Handicap at 30-1 last Sunday.

Kresgeville, a California-bred by Bertrando, is owned by Hall and trained by Rollins.

Barretts summer sale has 150 in catalog

Barretts will offer 150 horses in its summer sale on June 28. The sale will have 113 2-year-olds in training and 37 horses of racing age.

The sale was launched last year, with 93 horses of racing age selling for an average of $13,492.

The sale topper was Lovely Journey, who was purchased for $110,000 by Howard Roberts Farm. She is winless in four starts.

Catalogs for the sale will be distributed in coming days, and there will be a training preview at Fairplex Park on June 27 at 10 a.m. The sale will start at 1 p.m. on the sale company's grounds in Pomona.

Horse rescue operation gets $21,000 grant

Tranquility Farm, a horse rescue charity based in Tehachapi, Calif., has received a $21,000 grant from the Piedra Foundation, a nonprofit program that was disbanded last year.

The grant will be used for the feeding and health care of the horses kept at Tranquility Farm.