04/19/2004 11:00PM

Another trip to New York


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The country's fastest one-turn horse is likely to return to New York for the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap on May 31 at Belmont Park. Pico Central earned a 116 Beyer Figure winning the Grade 1 Carter Handicap in his most recent start April 10 at Aqueduct, and will resume serious training early next month at Hollywood Park as trainer Paulo Lobo and owner Gary Tanaka deliberate running in the Met Mile.

"We haven't decided yet, but he has a good chance to go," Lobo said. "He came out of the [Carter] perfect."

The question is, who will ride him? Pico Central has had three jockeys in three U.S. starts - Victor Espinoza in an allowance, David Flores in the Grade 2 San Carlos at Santa Anita, and Alex Solis in the Carter. Lobo hopes one of them rides Pico Central in the Met, which is scheduled the same day as two Grade 1's at Hollywood Park - the Gamely and Shoemaker Mile.

"I'd like to keep one of them, because he's not an easy horse to ride," Lobo said. "He needs to learn to relax."

The 116 Beyer earned by Pico Central is the fastest of the year up to one mile, and the year's second-fastest by any horse. Medaglia d'Oro earned a 117 in February.

Sunday, Lobo will start Quero Quero in the Grade 3 Wilshire Handicap, a one-mile turf race for fillies and mares. Winner of the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap, Quero Quero overcame a troubled trip to win her March 11 comeback at Santa Anita. She will face a tough Wilshire lineup expected to include Dimitrova, 122; Dublino, 120; Katdogawn, 118; Spring Star, 117; and Makeup Artist, 115.

Ten Most Wanted to Pimlico

Ten Most Wanted, whose paid workout last Saturday was a 6 3/4-length win in the Grade 3 National Jockey Club Handicap at Hawthorne, will bump up in class for his next start. Trainer Wally Dollase said Tuesday that Ten Most Wanted will aim for the Grade 1 Pimlico Special on May 14. The 4-year-old will train for the race at Churchill Downs.

"It's one month [between starts], and he'll like that track," said Dollase. "He came out of the race really well, according to my daughter."

Aimee Dollase serves as an assistant trainer to her father and was at Hawthorne for the race.

Wally Dollase completed a banner weekend on Sunday when he won the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano with Meteor Storm. While some horses require a longer recovery following the 1 3/4-mile San Juan Capistrano, Dollase will consider bringing Meteor Storm back on May 8 for the $350,000 Jim Murray Handicap.

"It's only three weeks, but the way he did it was so easy," Dollase said, adding that "I'll let him tell me" if he is ready.

One horse who is ready is Irish Warrior, Dollase's graded stakes winner who has finished one-two in six of seven starts on the Hollywood turf. Irish Warrior worked six furlongs Tuesday and returns May 1 in the Grade 3 Inglewood Handicap.

Dollase's 5-year-old mare Bare Necessities will try to win the Grade 3 Sixty Sails at Hawthorne on Saturday for the second straight year; 3-year-old turf specialist Erewhon runs May 22 in the Grade 3 Will Rogers on turf.

Valenzuela gets mount for Wilshire

Count trainer John Shirreffs among horsemen who will use Pat Valenzuela regularly when he resumes riding on Sunday. Shirreffs has named Valenzuela to ride Makeup Artist in the Grade 3 Wilshire Handicap on Sunday, unconcerned that Valenzuela may be rusty having not ridden since Jan. 19.

"With Valenzuela, he's ready to ride at all times; he was born ready," Shirreffs said.

Valenzuela received a stay of a license termination on Friday. He was to resume exercising horses Wednesday, and riding in races on Sunday.

Shirreffs recognizes the turmoil that often surrounds Valenzuela. "He's had his personal problems, but he's kept them away from the track. I think Valenzuela is actually good for the racing game. He is a rider that always gives you 100 percent, the bettors love him, and the owners love him."

Other jockeys do not love Valenzuela, and have complained that he should not be given another chance.

"If the jockeys are grumbling, they're worried about their own selfish interests," Shirreffs said.

Olmodavor points for LeRoy

Grade 3 winner Olmodavor worked a mile Tuesday at Santa Anita in 1:37.80, and could run May 8 in the Grade 3 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap at 1 1/16 miles.

He has started three times on the Hollywood dirt, including a Dec. 6 win in the Grade 3 Native Diver. Olmodavor's trainer, Richard Mandella, also trains Redattore, winner of the biggest middle-distance turf races each of the last two Hollywood meets.

The 9-year-old Redattore is gearing for a comeback, and worked a half-mile Tuesday at Santa Anita in 50 seconds. Redattore won the Grade 2 Citation at Hollywood in December; and the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile last May.

* Jockey Jose Valdivia will ride locally based turf horse Singletary at Bay Meadows on Saturday in the Grade 2 San Francisco Mile. Singletary, trained by Don Chatlos, finished second to Sweet Return in the Grade 2 Frank Kilroe Handicap in his last start March 6.

* Jockey Rene Douglas will ride next Friday and Saturday at Hollywood Park, and has picked up the Inglewood mount on Irish Warrior.