06/07/2001 11:00PM

After a decade, Frazier returns


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Ricky Frazier, a career winner of 2,374 races, is one of two recent additions to the northern California jockey colony.

Frazier, 37, checked in to Bay Meadows last week and won two races over the weekend and one Thursday.

Jose Pietri, an apprentice who tacks 108 pounds, arrived here Tuesday and has six wins.

Frazier left here amid controversy in 1990. After winning the $250,000 Final Fourteen by a nose aboard Allijeba, he weighed out three pounds light. The horse was disqualified and Frazier received a six-month suspension, which eventually was reduced to six months probation. He has always denied any wrongdoing and said he left the area because the controversy hurt his business.

Frazier said he returned because of the opportunity to hire Boone McCanna for his agent. McCanna also has the book of consistent top-five jockey Dennis Carr. "[Former trainer] Wayne McDonnell put it together for me," Frazier said. "He just told me how good of an agent Boone was, and then set it up."

Frazier rode in Maryland and at Delaware Park in 2000, and was one of the leaders at the Texas tracks San Houston Park and Retama Downs in the late 1990's.

"I took last winter off, rehabilitated my knee and played Mr. Mom," he said. "I hadn't been back very long when I ran into Wayne at Mountaineer Park."

Frazier has a lifetime win percentage of 12.1 and his mounts have earned more than $28 million.

Pietri, 20, was riding in Delaware when agent Mark North convinced him to try the Northern California circuit.

"I had two good jocks, Jesus Castanon and Alberto Delgado, but gave them up to bring Jose here," North said. "That's how much potential I think he has. One reason we came here is that there aren't any apprentices here right now."

Pietro, who is from Puerto Rico, said he completed a two-year jockey school there before coming to the U.S. He won five races at Tampa Bay Downs, then won one in Maryland before he was injured in March. He returned at Delaware Park and rode 15 with no winners before arriving here.

Also, jockey Ken Tohill, who went to Delaware Park with agent Joe Griffin at the beginning of the Bay Meadows meeting in April, will return to Northern California next week. His new agent will be Ray Harris, who is also the agent for perennial leading rider Russell Baze.