07/26/2004 12:00AM

Bailey will sub for Solis aboard Pleasantly Perfect


DEL MAR, Calif. - With jockey Alex Solis out at least through the fall with a fractured back and ribs and facing the possibility of surgery, trainer Richard Mandella has secured jockey Jerry Bailey to ride Pleasantly Perfect in two races over the next three months.

Pleasantly Perfect, whom Solis guided to victory in both last year's Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita and this year's Dubai World Cup, is pointing for a defense of his Breeders' Cup Classic title. Mandella said he had secured Bailey to ride Pleasantly Perfect in the $4 million Classic, which will be run this year at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30, as well as Del Mar's $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 22.

Because of a previous commitment at Saratoga, however, Bailey is not able to ride Pleasantly Perfect in this Sunday's Grade 2, $250,000 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar, which will mark Pleasantly Perfect's first start since winning in Dubai. Mandella on Monday said he had yet to decide who would ride Pleasantly Perfect this weekend.

"I'm still sorting through it," Mandella said at his Del Mar barn. "It was too quick notice for Bailey to make the race here this week."

Several jockey agents have not made commitments for the San Diego in the hope they can get their rider on Pleasantly Perfect. Among the jockeys still open are Kent Desormeaux, Corey Nakatani, and Mike Smith.

In addition to Pleasantly Perfect, the 1 1/16-mile San Diego is expected to include Choctaw Nation, During, Nose the Trade, Reba's Gold, and Taste of Paradise.

Solis, 40, fractured vertebra and three ribs and punctured a lung in an accident Friday. His mount, Golden K K, clipped the heels of Vegas Folly just after turning into the stretch. Javier Santiago, who was aboard Vegas Folly, was not suspended by Del Mar's stewards.

"It was an unfortunate combination of factors, but it was not his fault," said Tom Ward, one of Del Mar's stewards. "Part of the problem was that Solis's horse was getting out the whole race."

Solis has been at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla since the accident. On Monday, his wife, Sheila, said she was still awaiting opinions from several doctors to determine whether Alex would have surgery on his back.

"We're not quite sure yet," Sheila Solis said. "But if he has it, it will be in the next day or so."