Updated on 09/17/2011 5:27PM

'Recruit' set for second season

Email
Horsephotos
Perfect Moon scores a 4 1/2 length victory over Borrego in Friday's $79,550 El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Our New Recruit went from being an also ran in graded stakes in California last winter to the winner of the world's richest sprint, the $2 million Golden Shaheen in Dubai last March.

Monday at Del Mar in the $75,000 Pirate's Bounty Handicap, Our New Recruit starts a late-season campaign that trainer John Sadler hopes will include a win in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30.

The purse of Monday's race is not reflective of the quality of the competition. The race features several stakes winners and has the feel of a graded stakes. Our New Recruit is ready, trainer John Sadler said.

"I think he'll be double tough," Sadler said. "He needed the rest, but he's come back well. I feel like we've got a really fresh horse for the fall, like we hoped."

Our New Recruit faces eight rivals, including Bluesthestandard, the runner-up in the 2003 Breeders' Cup Sprint; Marino Marini, the runner-up in the Malibu Stakes; and Roy Jones, a multiple stakes winner from Argentina who is making his U.S. debut.

Our New Recruit finished third behind Bluesthestandard and Marino Marini in the Grade 2 Palos Verdes Handicap at Santa Anita in January, his final start before leaving for Dubai.

Our New Recruit breaks from the outside and carries 121 pounds, one less than Bluesthestandard, who has won 15 of 30 starts and $910,553.

A former claimer, Bluesthestan-dard has not started since finishing third as the 4-5 favorite in the Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita in March.

Trainer Ted H. West said Bluesthestandard was diagnosed with a torn hind end muscle that required rest following that race. A start in the Breeders' Cup Sprint is a goal for Bluesthestandard.

"We gave him two months off at the farm. We brought him back with a race at Del Mar in mind," West said.

Last Monday, Bluesthestandard zipped five furlongs in 57.40 seconds, the fastest of 60 recorded works at the distance. West said Bluesthe-standard could have worked faster, and might have been focused on a horse working in front of him.

"He's being his old self," West said. "He's working a lot faster than he's ever worked. In his last work, a horse broke off 15 lengths in front of him. I didn't think he would see him. I think he could have gone in 56."

Five recent winners in I'm Smokin

Monday's first race is the $100,000 I'm Smokin Stakes for 2-year-old statebreds over six furlongs. The five runners are coming off wins. Senor Fango, who won the Graduation Stakes for statebreds on July 28, will go favored.

Fallfree, second in the Graduation, returned to win an allowance race for statebreds; Top Money won a starter allowance; while Generalist and Proud Tower Too won maiden races in their last start.

Perfect Moon wins comeback

A year after he was bought privately as a prospect for the major stakes for 2- and 3-year-olds, Perfect Moon won his first stakes for owner Royce Jaime in Friday's $79,550 El Cajon Stakes.

Leading throughout, Perfect Moon scored by 4 1/2 lengths over Borrego, who was making his first start since finishing seventh in the Preakness Stakes. Courageous Act finished third in the field of seven 3-year-olds.

Perfect Moon ran a mile in 1:35.09. The race marked his first start since a ninth-place finish in the WinStar Derby at Sunland Park in March. Following that race, Perfect Moon underwent surgery to have a bone chip removed from a knee.

Perfect Moon has won 4 of 14 starts and $421,600. He won the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes in August 2003 before being acquired by Jaime. For Jaime, Perfect Moon was third in the $1 million Delta Jackpot Stakes last December in Louisiana.

Friday's win by Perfect Moon could lead to a rematch with Borrego in the $500,000 Super Derby over 1 1/8 miles at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 25.

Doug O'Neill, who trains Perfect Moon, feared that the one-mile distance of the El Cajon would work against the gelding.

"My worry was I thought he'd be too fresh," O'Neill said. "He was so relaxed. The track was playing to speed. I was happy seeing him kick clear."

Borrego was fourth for the first half-mile, moved off the rail in early stretch under Tyler Baze, but could not catch Perfect Moon.

"Tyler said if you're not near the front, you're in trouble," trainer Beau Greely said. "A mile might be a bit short for him. It was a good prep race. He needs more ground."

Roman Ruler preps for Futurity

Roman Ruler, the unbeaten leader of the California 2-year-old male division, worked a half-mile in 47 seconds on Saturday. The winner of the Best Pal Stakes on Aug. 15, Roman Ruler will be a heavy favorite in a small field in Wednesday's $250,000 Del Mar Futurity.

Saturday's workout was the second fastest of 29 recorded works at the distance.

"He's ready, but he's always been ready," trainer Bob Baffert said.

Roman Ruler has scared away most of the competition for the seven-furlong Futurity. As of Saturday, there were only three other probable starters - Chandtrue, Declan's Moon, and Swiss Lad.

Chandtrue is unbeaten in four starts, including three stakes at Hollywood Park during the spring-summer meeting.

No Goodwood for Pleasantly Perfect

Pleasantly Perfect, the nation's top older horse, worked a half-mile in 48.20 seconds on Saturday, his first workout since winning the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 22.

Trainer Richard Mandella has two races in mind for Pleasantly Perfect this fall - the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30, and the $2 million Japan Cup Dirt in Tokyo on Nov. 28.

Mandella said it is unlikely that Pleasantly Perfect will try for a third consecutive win in the $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita on Oct. 2.

"I want him strong for the Breeders' Cup so I can go to Japan," Mandella said.