10/02/2003 11:00PM

Siphonizer in Norfolk with eye on Cup

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ARCADIA, Calif. - A half-length win by Siphonizer in the Del Mar Futurity last month has made him more of a target than a horse to fear in Sunday's $250,000 Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita.

In the seven-furlong Futurity, Siphonizer was tested through the stretch and held off stablemate Minister Eric to win by a half-length.

A start in the Norfolk will offer clues as to whether Siphonizer was doing just enough to win at Del Mar and whether he can be as effective at 1 1/16 miles.

"He got the job done," trainer Richard Mandella said of Siphonizer's Del Mar win. "I think he will appreciate the [added] distance."

The Norfolk has drawn nine entrants, but only one other stakes winner - Perfect Moon, winner of the Hollywood Juvenile Championship and Best Pal Stakes, who ran third behind Siphonizer in the Del Mar Futurity.

The Grade 2 Norfolk is run at the same distance as the $1.5 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Oct. 25, Mandella's goal this fall for Siphonizer, who is owned by B. Wayne Hughes.

Mandella considered passing the Norfolk Stakes and going straight to the the Juvenile, but decided the colt will be better off with a start around two turns.

"I'm afraid if I wait too long I've got to really train him," Mandella said. "I might as well get some experience with the training."

Many of Siphonizer's opponents on Sunday are Juvenile candidates.

Four entrants are maiden winners making their stakes debuts - Coldntight, Consecrate, Mambo Train, and Odds On.

Consecrate and Odds On will be coupled in the betting as an entry owned by Jim McIngvale. Odds On was the impressive winner of a six-furlong maiden race at Del Mar on Sept. 6.

Bob Baffert trains the McIngvale entry, and also starts the uncoupled Coldntight. Owned by Jim Pegram, Coldntight won a one-mile maiden race by seven lengths on Sept. 5, the only member of the field with experience around two turns.

Capitano and Ruler's Court have placed in stakes. The longshot Lucky Pulpit is making his stakes debut after two wins at 5 1/2 furlongs.

Capitano was second in the Best Pal Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar on Aug. 17, a race in which Siphonizer finished fifth after racing in traffic in early stretch.

"He [Siphonizer] really did have a tough trip," Mandella said.

Siphonizer ran near the front in the Del Mar Futurity, and Mandella wants to see the colt stalking the pace in the Norfolk. There should be ample pace from Lucky Pulpit, Odds On, and Mambo Train.

A quick pace might help Ruler's Court, the impressive winner of a maiden race over five furlongs in June but a disappointment in two subsequent starts - a third in the Hollywood Juvenile and a fourth in the Best Pal Stakes.

Ruler's Court trainer Eoin Harty wants to see a top effort to consider the BC Juvenile.

"I'd like there to be an honest pace up front so we can sit off that," he said. "That's the way he's been training. I'd like to see him finish with conviction."