07/15/2007 11:00PM

These juveniles can run a little


DEL MAR, Calif. - Del Mar is often where the best 2-year-olds on the West Coast make their debuts, and by all accounts, there are a number of top prospects here this summer.

In fact, two highly regarded colts were entered for the third race on Wednesday's opening-day card, but only one will run. Coast Guard, a son of Stormy Atlantic who has received rave reviews from clockers, will make his first start for trainer David Hofmans. But a compelling match with Maimonides, a $4.6 million yearling trained by Bob Baffert, will not come off, with Baffert saying Monday that Maimonides will be scratched.

"He had a little temperature this morning, and he left some grain," Baffert said of Maimonides, from the first crop of Baffert's champion colt Vindication. "He's a nice horse, a really nice horse."

So too, Hofmans believes, is Coast Guard. With Maimonides out of the race, Coast Guard figures to be an odds-on favorite against five rivals in the 5 1/2-furlong race. His last two works, one at Hollywood Park and one at Del Mar, were both the best of the morning at the distance, including a half-mile move here Sunday.

"He's done everything right so far," Hofmans said at his Del Mar barn Monday morning. "I think he wants to go farther. He's a big, strong horse. He seems like he has a lot of class. He does everything so easy."

Coast Guard was purchased as a yearling for $300,000.

Doug O'Neill will send out the Cherokee Run colt Grasmere Park, who he said "acts like a running son of a gun."

O'Neill also has high hopes for Overextended, a son of Monarchos, and a Mineshaft colt currently named Explosive Surge, but O'Neill said his name could be changed before he races. O'Neill's best filly, a daughter of Hennessy named Contrary Minded, got a late start in her training and might not be ready to race before the meet ends, he said.

In addition to Maimonides, Baffert said his most precocious colt might be Guns on the Table, a son of Carson City who Baffert said has trained well on Del Mar's new Polytrack surface.

Baffert also likes the filly More Happy, a daughter of Vindication who is scheduled to run this weekend after working five furlongs in 1:01.40 on Monday, and Cry and Catch Me, a Street Cry filly who was privately purchased and transferred to his barn after she made her debut at Hollywood Park with trainer Craig Dollase.

"She's nice, trust me," said jockey Mike Smith, who rode Cry and Catch Me at Hollywood Park.

In addition to Vindication, the other first-crop sire whose runners several trainers independently said had talent is Mineshaft.

Richard Mandella said he likes his Mineshaft colt Gold Road, who "is about ready to run." Neil Drysdale likes a colt named Mine at the Moment and a filly named Miner's Secret.

Mandella also has high hopes for Kanan Dume, a colt by Malibu Moon, who's running in Wednesday's third race. He said his colt Booted, who was favored in the Hollywood Juvenile, has been sent to the sidelines with a chip in his right knee.

Brian Koriner likes Sweet August Moon - another offspring of Malibu Moon - who Koriner said "could be any kind." He also likes a Salt Lake colt named Haggis McPherson, who worked a half-mile in 49.80 seconds on Monday at Del Mar.

Ron McAnally has several good prospects for owner Arnold Zetcher, including a Hussonet colt named Huss the King - "He's my fastest 2-year-old," McAnally said - and a Yankee Gentleman colt named Heza Gentleman.

Cliff Sise said his Bertrando filly Getinthereonetime has trained so well that he was considering running her first time out in Friday's $125,000-added California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association Stakes for Cal-breds, but he eventually decided to wait for a maiden race.

"She's related to Common Trust and Double Major, who I've had good luck with," Sise said.

Another Cal-bred worth following is Haleakala Heat, a daughter of Unusual Heat whom trainer Bill Spawr was raving over Monday morning.

"She can run," he said.

Bill Currin likes a filly named Devine Legacy, a daughter of Full Madness who is a half-sister to Bashert.

John Sadler's top colts include That's Grand, a son of Grand Slam, and Jumpin Charlie, by Indian Charlie.

Jenine Sahadi has an Elusive Quality colt named Premium Quality who is nearing his debut.