Updated on 09/17/2011 10:55AM

Arroyo's return to riding nears


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr., who was released from prison on Thursday, said that he hopes to begin riding races at Aqueduct within the next two weeks.

On Friday, Arroyo met with the Aqueduct stewards. The stewards said Arroyo must follow proper procedures, including filling out paperwork, standard for someone that has been convicted of a crime, before being cleared to return to competition.

It is not anticipated that the New York State Racing and Wagering Board will take any action against the rider in regard to his license.

Arroyo, 25, spent 39 days in the Nassau County Correctional Facility after being convicted on second-degree assault charges. Arroyo, who was the leading rider in New York in 2000, was involved in an altercation in a Long Island pool hall several hours after last year's Belmont Stakes on June 9. The rider struck three men with a pool cue, and one of the victims underwent surgery to treat a brain hemorrhage.

It wasn't the first time that Arroyo, who was the runner-up for the Eclipse Award as top apprentice in 2000, had been in trouble with the law. In July 2001, Arroyo, his father, and brother were arrested and charged with assault of a cab driver in the Bronx.

When he entered prison, Arroyo had been experiencing pain in his shoulder when he rode. He said the enforced down time actually came as a blessing.

An upbeat Arroyo said, "They took care of my shoulder while I was in there. I had therapy the whole time and I was actually in the medical section of the prison. It was like killing two birds with one stone. I did a lot of exercises and weightlifting - the whole nine yards. I'm really healthy and weigh less now than when I went in. I feel really good and can't wait to start riding."

Arroyo, who was scheduled to visit his daughter this weekend in Boston, said he anticipated he would be galloping horses by Tuesday morning, at the latest.

Besides feeling physically healthy, Arroyo said his mind and priorities are in the right place after serving his sentence.

"I really did a lot of thinking in there and I'm ready to dedicate myself 150 percent to my career and future," Arroyo said. "I wasn't showing [my talent] completely and now I'm ready to show it all. People will see the improvement."

Last year, Arroyo finished 10th in the standings on the New York Racing Association circuit with 107 winners.

Well Fancied sidelined, misses Hollie Hughes

Well Fancied, who would have been one of the favorites in Sunday's $75,000 Hollie Hughes, was forced to miss the race because he didn't scope clean after a recent work.

Well Fancied, who won last year's General Douglas MacArthur and Hudson handicaps, was scheduled to make his first start since finishing sixth in the Grade 3 Fall Highweight in November. The 5-year-old had been training sharply for his return.

"After breezing, we scoped him as I usually do, and he had a lot of junk in there," Well Fancied's trainer, Richard Dutrow Jr., said. "He just isn't himself and is still not eating."

Dutrow reported that Torre and Zim, who finished fifth as the 4-5 favorite in last Saturday's Whirlaway Stakes, came out of the race in good shape. Dutrow said he didn't know what would be next for Torre and Zim.

Indy Glory retired a winner

Indy Glory, who was scheduled to race once or twice more before being bred, will miss Monday's $75,000 Rare Treat because of a quarter crack and has been retired.

"The quarter crack ran a little deeper than we had thought," said Loretta Lusteg, an assistant to Indy Glory's trainer, John Kimmel.

In what turned out to be her final career start, Indy Glory, a 5-year-old New York-bred daughter of A.P. Indy, won the Videogenic Stakes here on Jan. 31.

Indy Glory, owned and bred by Chester and Mary Broman, retires with earnings of $283,422 and a record of 5-5-2 from 19 starts.