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Tuesday, January 25, 2005Contact: Bob Curran Jr. (212) 521-5326
Declan's Moon, Wilko Co-Highweights on Experimental Free Handicap

Undefeated Declan’s Moon and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Wilko share the highweight assignment of 126 pounds on the 2004 Experimental Free Handicap, released today by The Jockey Club.

The filly division is headed by Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Sweet Catomine at 124 pounds, one pound more than the standard impost for top weighted fillies.

The Experimental Free Handicap, published annually by The Jockey Club since 1935, is compiled for a hypothetical race at 1 1/16 miles on dirt. This year’s weighting committee of racing secretaries once again comprised Frank Gabriel, Jr. of Arlington Park, Michael Lakow of the New York Racing Association and Thomas S. Robbins of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

The committee weighted a total of 87 males and 66 fillies. Eligible for weighting were all two-year-olds of 2004 that finished among the top four in graded or other unrestricted races with an added-value of at least $75,000 or higher, run in the continental United States.

Jay Em Ess Stable’s Declan’s Moon (Malibu Moon – Vee Vee Star, by Norquestor) won all of his four starts last year, including the Hollywood Futurity, Del Mar Futurity and Hollywood Prevue Stakes, for earnings of $507,300. He was bred in Maryland by Brice Ridgely.

J. Paul Reddam and Susan Roy’s Wilko (Awesome Again – Native Roots (IRE), by Indian Ridge (IRE)) scored an upset win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile before finishing third to Declan’s Moon in the Hollywood Futurity. A winner of three-of-12 starts and $934,074, Wilko was bred in Kentucky by Ro Parra.

The 126 pounds assigned the co-highweights is a standard top weight for Experimental colts and is equivalent to the assignment shared by last year’s highweights Action This Day, Cuvee and Ruler’s Court. Declan’s Moon and Wilko are weighted two pounds higher than Cash is King LLC’s Afleet Alex (Northern Afleet – Maggy Hawk, by Hawkster) and Fog City Stable’s Roman Ruler (Fusaichi Pegasus – Silvery Swan, by Silver Deputy).

Afleet Alex, a winner of four-of-six starts and $680,800, won the Hopeful Stakes and the Sanford Stakes before finishing second to Wilko in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Roman Ruler won three-of-five starts, including the Norfolk Stakes and the Best Pal Stakes, and earned $330,800.

At 123 pounds are Padua Stable’s Proud Accolade (Yes It’s True – Proud Ciel, by Septieme Ciel), winner of the Champagne Stakes and $364,130, and Tracy Farmer’s Sun King (Charismatic – Clever But Costly, by Clever Trick), third in both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Champagne Stakes with earnings of $244,850.

In the filly division, the 124 pounds assigned Sweet Catomine (Storm Cat – Sweet Life, by Kris S.) is equivalent to the assignment on last year’s highweight Halfbridled.

Bred in Kentucky by her owners Marty and Pam Wygod, Sweet Catomine won three of four starts and $799,800 last year. In addition to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, she won the Del Mar Debutante and Oak Leaf Stakes.

Sharing second-highweight at 117 pounds are Darley Stable’s Balletto (UAE) (Timber Country – Destiny Dance, by Nijinsky II), Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor’s Sense of Style (Thunder Gulch – Save Me the Waltz (IRE), by Kings Lake) and Peter Vegso’s Splendid Blended (Unbridled’s Song – Valid Blend, by Valid Appeal).

Balletto (UAE) won three-of-five starts, including the Matron Stakes, for earnings of $614,000. She was runner-up in both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and the Matron Stakes. Sense of Style also won three-of-five starts, including the Matron Stakes and Spinaway Stakes, and earned $369,000. Splendid Blended won three-of-four starts, including the Hollywood Starlet Stakes, and banked $327,400.

Among sires of Experimental horses, Yes It’s True tops the colts’ list with three representatives, while Successful Appeal heads the fillies’ list, also with three representatives. Combining the two lists, Successful Appeal is the leading sire with five representatives, one more than Unbridled’s Song. Of the 153 juveniles weighted, 89 were bred in Kentucky, 37 in Florida and four each in Maryland and New York.

The entire 2004 Experimental Free Handicap is available in the "Information and Statistics" section of The Jockey Club's web site, located at