09/17/2008 12:00AM

Sise, Solis both pick safer spot


POMONA, Calif. - The late September options for Charlie's Moment and Fu Peg He Rat are clear for trainers Walther Solis and Clifford Sise. They can start their 2-year-olds in Friday's $65,000 Gateway to Glory Stakes at Fairplex Park or wait for the $250,000 Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 28.

The Gateway to Glory is an easier spot, while the Norfolk is a Grade 1. Both trainers have opted for the Gateway to Glory, hoping to give their relatively unproven colts a race at 1 1/16 miles without facing the circuit's best juveniles.

Still, the decision leaves them open to second-guessing.

"If he is a nice colt, I might be screwing up," said Sise, who trains Fu Peg He Rat. "Do you go for the easy pickings?"

Both horses ran in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 10 and are the only entrants in the Gateway to Glory field with stakes experience. Charlie's Moment finished fourth in the Best Pal, but was promoted to third when race winner Kelly Leak was ruled to have caused interference in the stretch. Fu Peg He Rat finished fifth, not bothered by the interference.

Charlie's Moment, a winner of 1 of 4 starts, has improved since being gelded in early summer. Solis said that Charlie's Moment was a ridgling who was bothered by an undescended testicle early in the year.

"I saw the difference after we gelded him," he said.

Charlie's Moment won a six-furlong maiden race at Del Mar on July 26 at 21-1 and was beaten 2 1/2 lengths in the Best Pal, run at 6 1/2 furlongs.

"He lost his shot of running in the last sixteenth of a mile when he got shut off," Solis said. "I think we should have got second. We got the worst part."

"We thought about [the Norfolk]," Solis said. "That will come up really strong. I think this will be an easier spot."

Sise said the Gateway to Glory distance is what Fu Peg He Rat "wants to do." Owned by breeders Larry and Marianne Williams, Fu Peg He Rat finished 3 3/4 lengths behind Kelly Leak.

Sise said that Fu Peg He Rat failed to switch leads in the race.

"He's got to switch leads, that's the important thing," Sise said.

David Flores will ride Fu Peg He Rat in the Gateway to Glory.