09/19/2003 12:00AM

Another controversial disqualification


POMONA, Calif. - Fairplex Park stewards have been busy at the Los Angeles County Fair meet, and no one is happy about it.

A controversial disqualification Thursday - the second questionable call in five days - resulted in cries of injustice from both horsemen and horseplayers. In Excess Success was disqualified from victory in race 3, and placed last, after stewards Will Meyers, David Samuel, and George Slender ruled the front-runner shifted inward and caused interference at the start of the "about" four-furlong race.

"I am still perplexed as to what infraction he committed," said Craig Lewis, trainer of In Excess Success. "In my opinion, my horse was clear, and clearly best."

In Excess Success won the $32,000 maiden-claimer by 2 1/2 lengths under jockey Martin Pedroza,

but stewards placed him behind 48-1 longshot Endian Outlaw, who clipped heels soon after the start, trailed throughout, and was beaten 28 lengths.

The race unfolded with In Excess Success breaking first from post 8, and appearing to clear the field. The horse to his inside, Worldly Reason, came in and bumped Sharp Looking Man inward. That caused Sharp Looking Man to come in and take the path of Endian Outlaw. Stewards ruled that Pedroza's mount initiated the chain reaction, though no contact was made.

Slender said the three stewards were unanimous in their decision to disqualify the winner, and he explained their ruling. "Even though there is no contact, [In Excess Success] is pushing [Worldly Reason] down into [Sharp Looking Man]. The rules are specific - if he's clear, he can go to any part of the racetrack. He was not clear."

Stewards spoke with riders during the 12-minute inquiry. Stewards said Tyler Baze admitted his mount, Worldly Reason, bothered the horse Sharp Looking Man, but that Baze was being forced inward by Pedroza. Stewards said Baze asked for a "hold" on the race as he galloped out. When a jockey asks for a hold, it shows his intention to claim foul. By the time Baze returned to dismount, stewards already had lit the inquiry sign, so Baze did not need to claim foul. Pedroza was scheduled to meet Saturday with stewards.

Stewards disqualified two more winners Friday - in races 2 and 5 - bringing to five the total number disqualified. On Sept. 13, stewards disqualified Infinite Faith in the Phil Shepherd Stakes when they ruled interference in deep stretch. Another disqualification occurred Sept. 15, when race 3 winner Cayerless and Bold was disqualified for an incident at the start in which he was ruled to have caused interference that led to 32-1 longshot El Veneno clipping heels and nearly falling at the start.

Reba's Gold will be busy

It's deja vu all over again for Reba's Gold. Winner of the $100,000 Ralph M. Hinds Pomona Invitational Handicap last year, Reba's Gold can try to win the race again Sept. 28, or run six days later in the $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap on Oct. 4 at Santa Anita.

"Why can't I do both?" trainer Dan Hendricks said. "He did it well last year."

Hendricks said Reba's Gold will follow the same enterprising campaign as last fall, when he wheeled back seven days after winning the Pomona Handicap and finished third in the Goodwood.

David Flores, the regular rider for Reba's Gold, will be busy Sept. 28, riding at Santa Anita and Fairplex Park. According to agent Jim Pegram, Flores will ride the opening-day Oak Tree card, then drive 20 miles east to Pomona to ride Reba's Gold in the Pomona Handicap,

closing day of the Los Angeles County Fair meet.

Reba's Gold is expected to be the highweight and heavy favorite in the Pomona Handicap, as he tries to become the ninth horse to win the race in consecutive years.

Flores and Hendricks also will team Sept. 26 with Rhianna in the $100,000 Las Madrinas Handicap for fillies and mares.

Wind Flow romps

The shadow of Halfbridled reached all the way to the Los Angeles County Fair on Thursday. Wind Flow, who set the pace in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante before being blown away by Halfbridled, dropped into the $48,000 Bustles and Bows Stakes and turned the race into a mere formality.

Wind Flow ($4.60) raced straight to the lead under David Nuesch, and won by seven lengths. It was the filly's second win from four starts for trainer Caesar Dominguez, who never shies from racing on the five-eighths mile track at Fairplex. "People don't realize that all horses like the bullring. It's just an excuse for the big-time horses not to run, and I don't believe in that."

Captain Squire goes to Ancient Title

It will be a busy month for California-based sprinters trained by Jeff Mullins. The trainer said Friday that Captain Squire would stay in California for the Grade 1 Ancient Title Handicap on Oct. 5 at Santa Anita, instead of shipping to New York. "My horse hates to ship, and he loves Santa Anita," Mullins said, explaining the change in plans.

Captain Squire is 2 for 2 at Santa Anita, having earned a 117 Beyer Speed Figure winning a $250,000 stakes there in January.

The stakes are lower at Fairplex, where Mullins is positioned to sweep the meet's three sprint stakes for older males. King Robyn, winner of the $50,000 Foothill Stakes for 3-year-olds on Sept. 12, is likely to wheel back against older in the $50,000 Governor's Cup on closing day, Sept. 28. On Wednesday, Mullins-trained Thunder Bullet ($4.60) won the $50,000 Aprisa Handicap by 1 1/4 lengths over De Valmont.

The Mullins-trained Denied, among the early favorites for the Pomona Handicap, worked five furlongs Friday in 1:01.40. Top Spinner, who runs Friday in the $100,000 Las Madrinas, worked the same distance in a best-of-the-morning time of 1:00.60.

While Mullins is pleased the quality of his stable has been upgraded, he admits he misses the claiming-level action. "I don't have as many cheap horses as I used to. I got out-shook for a $5,000 claimer on Thursday, and was [mad]."

Elloluv nearly ready to race

Elloluv worked seven furlongs Thursday at Hollywood Park and is being pointed for a comeback in either the Grade 2 Lady's Secret Handicap on Sept. 28 at Santa Anita, or the Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks on Oct. 3 at Hoosier Park.

"We've got a fresh filly on our hands," trainer Craig Dollase said. "She looks like her old self."

Elloluv has won 4 races and $803,475 from 8 starts, but has not raced since finishing fourth in the Kentucky Oaks.