09/16/2008 11:00PM

Apprentice Meier moves to California


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Apprentice rider Brandon Meier has made the leap from Chicago into the greater racing world sooner rather than later, shifting his tack to California, where he will begin accepting mounts next Wednesday, opening day of the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita.

Meier, who turned 20 in July, couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday, but his agent in Chicago, Tom Morgan, said Meier had arrived in California on Wednesday morning. Meier wouldn't have been able to ride again at Arlington until Sunday's closing-day card, since he received a three-day suspension for his ride on Jose Adan here last Saturday. Jose Adan finished first in the Arlington-Washington Futurity, but was placed third for interference in deep stretch.

Meier, the son of jockey Randy Meier, will be represented in California by the successful agent Joe Ferrer, who also has the book of leading California rider Rafael Bejarano.

Meier rode 58 winners from 333 mounts at the Arlington meet, and currently ranks fifth in the jockey standings. Meier galloped and breezed horses over the winter for trainer and former jockey Wayne Catalano - who has served as Meier's mentor - before making his career debut here in May. He rode several winners right off the bat for Catalano, but Catalano's main owner, Frank Calabrese, soon began spreading business to other riders. Meier and Morgan weathered that storm, however, and Meier has regularly made the most of live mounts from various trainers without having one major supporter this summer.

Morgan said he had been resigned for some time to losing Meier this fall.

"If you have a rider that shows any talent with the bug in the Midwest, you're susceptible to losing him to the big sharks," Morgan said.

Breeders' Futurity next up for Advice

Advice, disqualified from second to third in last Saturday's Futurity, is likely to go on to the Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland, trainer Todd Pletcher said Tuesday.

"It looked like he made the lead and kind of idled a little bit," Pletcher said. "We were very pleased with his effort, and we're hoping the more experienced he gets, the more he'll continue to improve."

Advice was making just his second career start, and hadn't raced since his career debut in early July.

Pletcher said Arlington-Washington Lassie second-place finisher Quite the Lady is possible for the Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland. Phola, third in the Lassie, is being pointed to the Jessamine County, a Keeneland grass stakes.

Just six enter Lake Michigan

The response to the inaugural running of the $100,000 Lake Michigan Stakes for 3-year-old turf sprinters was, at best, lukewarm: Just six were entered in the race when Saturday's card was drawn on Wednesday afternoon.

The field consists of Amazing Results, Chitoz, Pulla Fast One, Stormy Ballad, The Darp, and Grand Sensation.

A $50,000 overnight turf-route stakes also carded for Saturday came up with a deeper nine-horse cast headed by General Charley, Dynaman, and Pleasant Strike.

Campbell comes back quickly

Jockey Jesse Campbell will attempt to make a surprisingly quick comeback from injuries he sustained in a one-horse spill here Sept. 6. Campbell was named to ride horses beginning Thursday despite suffering a small tear in his rotator cuff when he went down two Saturdays ago.

Campbell is clinging to a slim lead over James Graham and Chris Emigh for second place in the Arlington standings. Rene Douglas wrapped up another riding title several weeks ago.