02/14/2011 3:00PM

Apprentice Pedroza taking time off after spill

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Bob Coglianese
Apprentice jockey Brian Pedroza will take at least one week off after suffering from general soreness following a spill Sunday at Aqueduct.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Brian Pedroza, the leading apprentice jockey at Aqueduct this winter, will take at least one week off after suffering from general soreness as a result of a spill Sunday at Aqueduct that included four horses and riders.

None of the other riders in the spill – Charlie Amaro, Nazario Alvarado, and Abel Lezcano – are expected to miss any time. Honor Ernesto, ridden by Amaro, suffered fatal injuries and had to be euthanized. The other three horses involved – Soft Parade, Trinity Warrior, and Rightuplynn’salley were not seriously hurt.

According to his agent, Steve Rushing, Pedroza on Monday was still a bit sore from the spill, most notably in his left calf. Rushing said Pedroza would not ride this week, and would likely not ride until Feb. 24 at the earliest.

Pedroza and his mount, Rightuplynn’salley, were unable to avoid Honor Ernesto, who under Amaro fell entering the far turn of Sunday’s ninth race for 3-year-old New York-bred maiden claimers. Honor Ernesto fractured both sesamoids in his right foreleg and suffered a collapsed left knee.

Trinity Warrior and Rightuplynn’salley could not avoid Honor Ernesto. It was unclear whether Soft Parade, ridden by Alvarado, fell over Honor Ernesto or if the horse unseated his rider in an attempt to avoid hitting the gelding.

Amaro and Pedroza were both taken by ambulance to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center where initial X-rays taken were negative for any fractures. Both jockeys were released late Sunday night.

Pedroza has 15 wins from 136 mounts this winter at Aqueduct, placing him seventh in the standings.

Deputy Daney eyeing Tom Fool

Winter time in New York and the living is easy for Deputy Daney, who for the second straight year shipped in from the Mid-Atlantic region to win a stakes race over the inner track. On Sunday, Deputy Daney led every step of the way under Sheldon Russell to win the $60,000 Always Run Lucky Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths over Temecula Creek.

A year ago, Deputy Daney won the Jimmy Winkfield Stakes, which at the time made him 3 for 3 in his career.

Deputy Daney’s success over the inner track is one reason his connections are eyeing a return visit for the Grade 3, $150,000 Tom Fool Handicap here March 5.

“That’s where we’re headed,” trainer Hugh McMahon said Monday from Laurel, where he is based. “There is a four-other-than [allowance] here, but I know it won’t go, so I’ve got to nominate him for that race and take another shot and see how it comes up.”

McMahon took a shot by claiming Deputy Daney for $25,000 from trainer Cathal Lynch on Jan. 7. McMahon had wanted to take the horse previously when he was entered for $15,000 on Dec. 15 but couldn’t convince any of his owners to put up the money. After Deputy Daney won by 11 lengths that day, McMahon again called some of his owners and got Danny Limongelli to go for the $25,000.

“Danny is one of those guys who is very supportive,” McMahon said. “He said ‘I’ll trust you if you think he’s a nice horse, let’s go get it.’ ”

McMahon said he was a little hesitant to claim a horse off Lynch “because you don’t usually improve one off him. The only time you can improve off somebody like him is if you jump in while they’re taking a shot.”

In Sunday’s race, Deputy Daney got clear after running fractions of 22.68 seconds and 45.16 before completing six furlongs in 1:09.74. He earned a 93 Beyer Speed Figure.

Inherit the Gold awaits Kings Point

Inherit the Gold, who won the Mr. International Stakes by three lengths on Jan. 26, was conspicuous by his absence from the entries for Thursday’s $60,000 G’Day Mate Stakes for New York-breds.

Trainer James Hooper said he was initially pointing his 5-year-old gelding to that race but realized that the two wins in two weeks last month exacted a toll on Inherit the Gold. Now, he will wait until March 12 to run the gelding in the $65,000 Kings Point Handicap.

“I thought he won the race fairly easy and I thought he was going to bounce off it good,” Hooper said, referring to the Mr. International. “A week later, he showed he was a tired horse. I decided he’s definitely a stakes horse, I’m going to treat him like a stakes horse. I picked out the Kings Point on March 12, and if he’s very competitive there or if I’m lucky enough to win it, I’d like to go to the Excelsior on April 2.”

The Excelsior is a Grade 3, $100,000 stakes race run over Aqueduct’s main track. Hooper is hoping that with the purse of that race reduced by $100,000 – it lost funding from the Breeders’ Cup – and with the race now moved off the undercard of the Wood Memorial, it could come up a light field.

◗ One horse who could be eying the Excelsior is Rodman, who on Friday makes his return to the races off a 14-month layoff in a $48,000 allowance race at six furlongs. It will be Rodman’s first start since he won the Grade 3 Queens County Handicap on Dec. 12, 2009. Among his five rivals is More Than a Reason, winner of the 2010 Queens County.

On Monday, Rodman worked four furlongs in 49.67 seconds over Belmont’s training track.