10/10/2008 12:00AM

Trainer and rider have faith in Believe in Hope


ARCADIA, Calif. - On a national stage later this month, trainer Ron Ellis is hoping to prove that the 2-year-old colt Believe in Hope is better than his third-place finish in the Norfolk Stakes on Sept. 28.

Believe in Hope is a candidate for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on Oct. 25. Should he run well in that race, Believe in Hope will get plenty of attention. The BC Juvenile is annually one of the most talked-about races on the Breeders' Cup program because of its ramifications for the Triple Crown the following spring.

Ellis expects Believe in Hope to be part of such races after the Norfolk, in which he finished three-quarters of a length behind race winner Street Hero.

"I thought he was best horse the other day," Ellis said. "He got slammed around and got knocked out of position. He never could get any momentum. If you give any credence to galloping out in front, he galloped out in front."

Owned by Mace and Samantha Siegel, Believe in Hope ran on the rail for much of the Norfolk. He was sixth on the turn and closed ground along the rail in the stretch.

"I thought it would have been a lot to ask of a 2-year-old to rally on the rail with a sudden burst," Ellis said.

After the race, jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. was frustrated by the result, thinking further improvement was possible.

"I thought it was a helluva try," Valdivia said. "I think there is more to him than what he showed."

Ellis is based at Hollywood Park, but has kept Believe in Hope at Santa Anita in recent weeks to prepare for the BC Juvenile.

"I've got him over there," he said. "I want to give him every opportunity to get over that track."

Gayego has eye on Oct. 25 return

Gayego, the winner of the $1 million Arkansas Derby in April, is on schedule for a return to racing after a five-month break in the $100,000 Damascus Stakes on Oct. 25, trainer Paulo Lobo said on Friday.

The Damascus is on the undercard of the BC program.

Gayego has not started since finishing 11th in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 17. He was 17th in the Kentucky Derby on May 3.

Owned by Cubanacan Stables, Gayego has been working regularly at Hollywood Park. Wednesday, he worked five furlongs in 59.40 seconds, the fifth-quickest of 27 recorded works at the distance.

"He's coming back very strongly," Lobo said. "He's training very well."

Curlin to work between races Monday

Santa Anita is conducting a nine-race program for Monday's Columbus Day that features the $65,000 Kangaroo Court Stakes on the hillside turf course.

But the star of the show will be a horse that is not part of the betting races. Curlin, the reigning Horse of the Year, is scheduled to work between the fourth and fifth races as part of his preparation for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic here on Oct. 25.

Curlin has been in training at Santa Anita since late September.

Charlie's Moment eager to run

By necessity, trainer Walther Solis intends to start Charlie's Moment in the $75,000 Jack Goodman Stakes at Santa Anita next Saturday.

After Charlie's Moment won the minor Gateway to Glory Stakes at 1o1/16 miles at Fairplex Park on Sept.o19, Solis intended to wait for the $100,000 Real Quiet Stakes at Hollywood Park on Nov. 8.

But Solis said he can't wait that long. Charlie's Moment is doing too well to stay in the barn.

"I'd have to work him anyway," Solis said. "We will still have 21 days to the Real Quiet."

Solis said the partnership that owns Charlie's Moment did not consider the BC Juvenile because of the cost of a supplemental entry. "It's too much," he said. "We're little guys."

Charlie's Moment has won 2 of 5 starts and $92,430.

The Goodman, run at six furlongs for 2-year-olds, and the $75,000 Anoakia Stakes, at six furlongs for 2-year-old fillies, are next Sunday, the main races on the final weekend before the Breeders' Cup here on Oct. 24-25.

Fine for failure to report gelding

Trainer Don Warren has been fined $500 by Santa Anita stewards after failing to report that Kauai raced as a gelding when he made his debut at Fairplex Park on Sept. 14, the stewards announced in a ruling on Wednesday.

Kauai finished sixth of seven in the maiden special weight race at 6o1/2 furlongs. In the last year, the racing board has fined trainers for not correctly noting the gender of horses on entry forms. In several cases, the fines have been issued for horses that are racing as geldings for the first time.