05/14/2003 11:00PM

Bailey bumps Valenzuela off mount


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - A late switch of jockeys on Preakness runner Ten Cents a Shine has put Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey on the longshot and top California rider Patrick Valenzuela on the sidelines.

As recently as Wednesday morning, when entries were drawn, Valenzuela expected to ride Ten Cents a Shine, who finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby. But midday on Wednesday, Valenzuela's agent, Nick Cosato, was told by trainer D. Wayne Lukas that Bailey would get the mount. Bailey rode Ten Cents a Shine to a victory in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park in January.

Bailey was scheduled to ride Champali, but Champali came down with a colic and was not entered. With Bailey suddenly available, owner Ken Ramsey decided to switch riders.

"It's a business decision, so I didn't want any regrets if we ran up the track or whatever," Ramsey said. "This is no reflection on Pat Valenzuela at all."

According to Cosato, Ramsey has paid Valenzuela an undisclosed amount to compensate him for the rider change.

Valenzuela, who rode Ten Cents a Shine to an eighth-place finish in the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita on March 16, did not have time to gain another mount, according to Cosato, having already turned down the ride on Preakness starter New York Hero. Still, Valenzuela will be at Pimlico this weekend to ride in other stakes.

Cosato said he asked Lukas last week that Valenzuela be allowed off Ten Cents a Shine if a better mount in the Preakness became available and that Lukas declined.

"We committed to them," Cosato said. "Thank God, I still have other mounts."

Cosato spoke with the stewards at Pimlico, but they took no action. According to Pimlico steward Bill Passmore, Maryland racing rules state that if an owner engages two or more jockeys for a race, the jockey who does not ride is entitled only to a losing jockey mount fee, which he estimated as $100 for the Preakness.

Had a similar situation occurred in California, Ramsey may have been obligated to pay Valenzuela whatever earnings Bailey gains from Saturday's race, a practice known as double jock mount.

"If a rider has what we think is a call, a full double jockey mount is the decision we make," California steward Pete Pedersen said. "Each decision is unique. We have to take the position that a call is a call. It's all verbal."