`Moon' leads Santa Anita to double up on draws

Md.-bred Derby contender takes luster from $1M race

March 03, 2005|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

ARCADIA, Calif. - The $1 million Santa Anita Handicap had to share the spotlight yesterday with the $200,000 Santa Catalina Stakes - because of an undefeated Maryland-bred horse.

Because of the appearance of Declan's Moon in the Santa Catalina, racing officials drew post positions not only for the Santa Anita Handicap, one of the country's premier races, but also for the Santa Catalina. The races will take place Saturday at Santa Anita Park.

Bred by Brice Ridgely at Spring Meadow Farm in Howard County, Declan's Moon drew Post 6 in the six-horse field of 3-year-olds racing 1 1/16 miles. Declan's Moon, 7-5 in the morning line, is the leading contender for the Kentucky Derby.

After winning all four of his races as a 2-year-old, he will make his sophomore debut in the Santa Catalina. Based in California and trained by Ron Ellis, Declan's Moon, despite his place of birth, has raced only in California.

Going Wild, the 9-5 second choice, and Spanish Chestnut, the 5-2 third choice, are worthy challengers. They're trained by D. Wayne Luke and Patrick Biancone, respectively.

The Santa Anita Handicap will feature an old-fashioned East vs. West showdown. Saint Liam, the East Coast visitor, drew the outside Post 11 and 5-2 favorite's role. The California-based Rock Hard Ten, 3-1, drew Post 10.

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