12/14/2005 12:00AM

Stevie Wonderboy still on target


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Stevie Wonderboy continued his preparation for his 3-year-old debut next month with a five-furlong breeze in 1:02.40 on Wednesday at Hollywood Park.

The workout, the colt's second since returning to serious training last month, keeps him on schedule for his next scheduled start, the $150,000 San Rafael Stakes at Santa Anita on Jan. 14.

Trainer Doug O'Neill timed Stevie Wonderboy 1:02.20, with a first three-eighths in 38.60 seconds and a final quarter-mile in 23.60.

"He was just cruising," O'Neill said. "He finished really strong.

"I don't work him in a racing fashion. I say this so much, but it was an accelerated gallop. He'll have tomorrow off and go back to galloping."

Stevie Wonderboy breezed a half-mile in 48 seconds on Dec. 3, his first workout since winning the BC Juvenile.

Owned by Merv Griffin, Stevie Wonderboy is expected to be named the champion 2-year-old male of 2005 when the Eclipse Awards are announced next month. Stevie Wonderboy has won 3 of 5 starts and $1,028,940. He has won his last three starts, a streak that includes a maiden race and the Grade 2 Del Mar Futurity at seven furlongs.

The San Rafael will be Stevie Wonderboy's first start around two turns; the BC Juvenile was run around one turn at Belmont Park.

O'Neill envisions a three-race preparation for Stevie Wonderboy before the Kentucky Derby. The Grade 2 San Rafael Stakes is run at a mile.

"I think two more works is the game plan," O'Neill said, explaining his training plans for the next few weeks. "His gallops are where he makes his fitness.

"If we get into rainy weather, we may have to revisit that. With the luxury of California weather, he can gallop a mile and a half a day."

Declan's Moon to train at farm

Declan's Moon, the champion 2-year-old male of 2004, will leave Hollywood Park later this week for a month of training at a lay-up farm in Hemet, Calif., trainer Ron Ellis said Wednesday.

Unraced since winning the Santa Catalina Stakes at Santa Anita in March, Declan's Moon has been out of training since September, recovering from a cannon bone injury. Last week Declan's Moon underwent X-rays and a nuclear scan procedure, which led to the decision to ship him to Bonnie Acres Ranch in Hemet, Ellis said.

"He came out well on the nuclear scan, but the X-rays showed he has a little way to go," Ellis said.

The trainer said Declan's Moon will undergo therapy involving walking in water while based at Bonnie Acres.

"He needs exercise to get everything moving. He needs stimulation and circulation," Ellis said. "That will give him some exercise without putting any weight on him."

Owned by Mace and Samantha Siegel, Declan's Moon in unbeaten in five starts. He has earned $627,300, and his four stakes wins include the 2004 Hollywood Futurity. Last summer, Declan's Moon resumed light training before being taken out of training in September.

Lots of supplements for Starlet

The number of fillies supplemented to Sunday's Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes is expected to exceed the number of fillies in the race who were on the race's original nomination list, released in May.

As of Wednesday, there were 10 probable starters for the Starlet - Balance, Diplomat Lady, Fall in Love, Itty Bitty Pretty, Karlee's Kitten, Loosends, Meetmeinthewoods, Private World, Sabatini, and True Xena.

Of those, only Fall in Love, Sabatini, and True Xena were original nominees, according to track officials. The owners of the other starters must pay $20,000 to be supplemented to the race, which is for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles. Most of the probable starters began their careers in late summer or the fall.

"The deadline is so early," said David Hofmans, the trainer of Balance. "Half of these horses are still on the farm" in May.

Balance, the impressive winner of the Sharp Cat Stakes on Nov. 27, had been broken but was turned out in May, Hofmans said. Owned by John and Jerry Amerman, Balance did not make her first start until Oct. 7 at Santa Anita when she won a maiden race on the hillside turf course.

Hofmans said the $20,000 could easily be money well spent, considering the prestige of the Hollywood Starlet.

"A Grade 1 is so important, especially for fillies," Hofmans said.

Wednesday, Balance worked five furlongs in 1:00.60, Hofmans said. The time did not appear on the morning work list.

The supplements are expected to swell the Starlet purse to about $400,000, according to stakes coordinator Dan Eidson.

Direct Connect to skip Futurity

Direct Connect, the winner of two sprint stakes earlier this fall, will not start in Saturday's Grade 1 Hollywood Futurity, trainer Paul Aguirre said.

Aguirre said Direct Connect will be pointed for the $125,000 California Breeders' Champion Stakes for statebreds at seven furlongs at Santa Anita on Dec. 26.

"The horse is working fantastic, but I think the other race is more appropriate," Aguirre said. "Hopefully we can be in one of those [major] races afterward."

The Futurity is led by Bob and John, who was disqualified from first to third in the Real Quiet Stakes on Nov. 26. Other probable starters are A.P. Warrior, Bashert, Brother Derek, Ecru Egret, Kobayashi, and Your Tent or Mine.

Kobayashi and Ecru Egret were second and fourth in a maiden race here on Nov. 9. Both are trained by Beau Greely.

Buzzards Bay preps for Sir Beaufort

Buzzards Bay, the winner of the Santa Anita Derby in April, worked a mile in 1:40.40 on Wednesday, preparing for the $100,000 Sir Beaufort Stakes for 3-year-olds at a mile on turf on Dec. 26.

The Sir Beaufort Stakes is a supporting feature on a program led by the $250,000 Malibu Stakes for 3-year-olds over seven furlongs.

The Sir Beaufort is expected to include Becrux, Brecon Beacon, Chinese Dragon, Eastern Sand, and Tedo.

The Malibu Stakes may include three runners trained by Richard Mandella - Osidy, Ulistnintome, and Unbridled Energy. He said that Osidy and Ulistintome could start in the Sir Beaufort.

The top contenders for the Malibu are Wilko, the 2004 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner; Attila's Storm, who won the Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct last month; and Thor's Echo, who won the WinStar Derby at Sunland Park earlier this year.