07/18/2003 11:00PM

Perfect Moon wins; 1-5 favorite third


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Perfect Moon, who broke his maiden in a $40,000 claiming race in May, pulled an upset in Saturday's $102,500 Hollywood Juvenile Championship at Hollywood Park.

Ruler's Court, the 1-5 favorite, finished a well-beaten third in a field of five.

Ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, Perfect Moon raced along the rail on the backstretch of the six-furlong race, tracking pacesetter Blairs Roarin Star through an opening quarter-mile in 22.23 seconds.

Blairs Roarin Star raced along the rail on the turn, just in front of Perfect Moon and Ruler's Court. In early stretch, Ruler's Court appeared poised to take the lead, but he faded in the final furlong.

Perfect Moon ($8) overtook Blairs Roarin Star in the final furlong and won by 2 1/2 lengths, finishing in 1:10.39. Blairs Roarin Star finished three lengths in front of Ruler's Court, who was followed by Dave the Dude and Tricky Flash Food.

Tyler Baze, who rode Blairs Roarin Star, lodged an objection, alleging interference against Perfect Moon in deep stretch, but the stewards disallowed the claim.

Perfect Moon races for Annabelle Stute and The Hat Ranch and is trained by Mel Stute. He gave freshman stallion Malibu Moon his first stakes winner. A gelding, Perfect Moon has won 2 of 6 starts and $93,870. In his last start, he finished second in the Haggin Stakes over 5 1/2 furlongs on June 21.

Ruler's Court was a heavy favorite on the strength of a two-length maiden win on June 11.