11/17/2004 12:00AM

'Talk Now' to Turf Cup

Wilko, winning the BC Juvenile, is on target for the Hollywood Futurity.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Better Talk Now, the upset winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30, will be pointed for the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup on Dec. 4, trainer Graham Motion said Wednesday.

Better Talk Now was also being considered for the Japan Cup in Tokyo on Nov. 28.

Owned by Bushwood Racing Partners, Better Talk Now was the 27-1 longest shot in a field of eight in the BC Turf. He finished 1 3/4 lengths in front of odds-on favorite Kitten's Joy, who was considered the top turf horse in the U.S.

Better Talk Now, who won the Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga in August, could attract attention for an Eclipse Award if he wins the Turf Cup. A Grade 1 stakes, the Turf Cup is run over 1 1/2 miles.

Motion said that to run in the Japan Cup, Better Talk Now would have needed to ship to Japan on Tuesday.

"The timing of the Japanese race is tricky as far as the traveling," Motion said. "With the Eclipse Award a little bit on the line, I felt comfortable with the Hollywood Park race. He seemed to come out of the Breeders' Cup in great shape. This is a logical race for him."

Seize the Day takes next step

In his only start, Seize the Day scored one of the most eye-catching maiden wins of the Santa Anita meeting, an 11-length victory going six furlongs on Oct. 11.

Where Seize the Day ranks among the circuit's 2-year-old males will be determined in Saturday's $100,000 Hollywood Prevue Stakes at Hollywood Park. A win or a strong finish could leave Seize the Day on everyone's short list of 3-year-olds to follow in 2005.

The Grade 3 Prevue Stakes over seven furlongs could vault Seize the Day into the Grade 1 Hollywood Futurity over 1 1/16 miles Dec. 18.

To get to this point, owner Robert Shepard and trainer Kristin Mulhall bypassed the Lone Star Juvenile on the Breeders' Cup undercard, the Sunny Slope Stakes at Santa Anita, and an allowance race over 1 1/16 miles here last weekend.

"After that first race, we decided we'd point for this," Mulhall said. "This is what you'd normally do."

Seize the Day was nearly entered in an allowance race last weekend. "That nonwinners of two came up pretty tough," Mulhall said. "Either way, it was going to be tough."

Mulhall said the maiden race left her with a few unanswered questions. Seize the Day led throughout and drew off in the final quarter-mile to finish six furlongs in 1:09.87. He was not bothered early, quickly leading by 1 1/2 lengths in the first quarter-mile and by two lengths after a half-mile.

"I don't know how he'll do with pressure," Mulhall said. "He's training good, but he was so impressive when he broke his maiden. He's coming into it great. If he makes an easy lead, he'll keep on galloping, That's if he makes an easy lead."

The Grade 3 Prevue Stakes will have a small field and is led by the top 2-year-old Declan's Moon. Trained by Ron Ellis, Declan's Moon is unbeaten in two starts, having won a maiden race over 5 1/2 furlongs by five lengths July 31 and the Grade 2 Del Mar Futurity over seven furlongs against the well-regarded Roman Ruler on Sept. 8.

Declan's Moon will be a short-priced favorite. The other probable starters are Bushwacker, who beat maidens on turf in his debut Nov. 6; Megabyte, who beat maidens over seven furlongs at Santa Anita Oct. 23; and Southern Africa, a shipper from England who was stakes placed on turf in July.

Wilko works for Hollywood Futurity

Wilko, the upset winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, remains on course for the Hollywood Futurity, trainer Craig Dollase said Wednesday.

Wilko breezed a half-mile in 49.40 seconds Tuesday.

"I was very happy with his work," Dollase said. "He did it very easy and all systems are go. We'll stay on a six- or seven-day work pattern for awhile. It looks like he came back from the work in good shape."

Wilko made his U.S. debut, and first start on dirt, in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Previously, he had won 2 of 10 starts in England and placed in five stakes.

Blazing work for Action This Day

Action This Day, the champion 2-year-old male of 2003, worked five furlongs in 58.60 seconds at Santa Anita on Wednesday, the fastest of 48 recorded works at the distance.

Trainer Richard Mandella is aiming Action This Day for the $250,000 Malibu Stakes over seven furlongs at Santa Anita on Dec. 26, but said he must juggle his team of 4-year-olds of 2005 to have some ready for the $200,000 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 15.

Aside from Action This Day, Mandella's team of 4-year-old males for next year includes Siphonizer, the winner of the 2003 Del Mar Futurity; Minister Eric, the runner-up in the 2003 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, who was entered in an allowance race Wednesday at Hollywood Park; and Rock Hard Ten, the winner of the Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park in July.

Rock Hard Ten was transferred to Mandella from trainer Jason Orman last week.

Of the quartet, Mandella said Siphonizer is likely to be the last to start. "He's a little farther behind," he said. "He'll be galloping for a month."

John out until winter meeting

Jockey Kerwin John will remain hospitalized until the weekend after suffering a fractured pelvis in a morning training accident at Santa Anita on Monday.

John has been advised to stay at Arcadia Methodist hospital, adjacent to Santa Anita, to undergo additional physical therapy, according to his agent, Sue McBrayer.

"They want him to walk around as much as possible," she said.

John, who won the Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap last month on Island Fashion, is expected to miss at least a month. The injury will keep him out until the start of the Santa Anita winter meeting on Dec. 26.

"In four to six weeks, he should be feeling a lot better," McBrayer said.