06/13/2006 11:00PM

Bell out with hand injury


Derek Bell, a perennial leader at Canterbury Park, was forced to the sidelines this past week after suffering an injury to his left hand during a morning workout. Bell is not expected to ride for the next several weeks.

A four-time leading rider at Canterbury Park, Bell was engaged in a spirited battle for leading rider honors with at least five rivals. Israel Ocampo

currently leads the standings with 21 wins. Adding intrigue to the Canterbury Park jockeys' race is the recent arrival of Seth Martinez, who captured the riding title at Canterbury Park in 2002 and 2005. Martinez is named on his first mounts of this meeting Friday night.

* Trainer Roger Brueggeman is the hottest Thoroughbred trainer on the grounds. This is the first year that Brueggeman, a Chicago-based trainer, is maintaining a stable at Canterbury Park. Regularly employing leading rider Ocampo, Brueggeman has won seven races from 13 starters, including his most recent winner, Jack of My Heart, who won in his first appearance at Canterbury Park on Saturday. Jamie Ness and Bernell Rhone top the Canterbury trainer standings with 12 wins and 11 wins, respectively.

* Quarter Horse trainer Amber Blair had a big weekend at Canterbury Park. On Saturday Blair sent out Wicked Nicole, a 2-year old filly, to win for her owners, TAC Partners. In Sunday's Minnesota Stallion Breeders' Futurity trials, Blair and the TAC Partners were represented by the fastest qualifier, Charmxpress, who blitzed her division with a time of 18.320 seconds in the 350-yard race.

* Canterbury fans were treated to a stirring performance Sunday when Al's Dearly Bred prevailed by a nose after dueling with Shaitan in the final furlong of a turf claiming contest. Al's Dearly Bred has won 5 of 6 starts over the Canterbury turf course, including the 2002 Brooks Fields Stakes and the 2001 Claiming Crown Emerald. Claimed at Gulfstream Park in April 2005, Al's Dearly Bred was making his first start

in 14 months for owner Hugh Robertson and was claimed out of his victory Sunday by trainer Marvin Johnson and owner Larry Cronin.

- David M. Miller


Jockeys Camilo Pitty and Steve Capeles have received suspensions of 90 days and 30 days, respectively, for hitting each other with their whips during the running of the seventh race last Thursday.

Pitty also veered his mount, George's Brother, into Capeles's mount, Skysmoke, in the stretch in retaliation for being struck by Capeles's whip.

The suspensions are a major blow to both riders, but especially Pitty, who before the incident was tied for second in the standings with 50 wins and was riding first call for the dominant Ralph Martinez barn. Capeles had 12 wins.

Emanuel Cosme rode for Martinez on Tuesday, but Godofredo Laurente, who has been riding at Indiana Downs, was named to ride all of the Martinez entrants on Friday's card.

* Racing was canceled after two races last Saturday because of persistent heavy rain and lightning, the second such cancellation of racing in the last two weeks. On June 1, lightning struck a light that services the area from the finish line to the clubhouse turn. The first four races were run before the rest of the card was canceled because of darkness.

* Beginning this week, there will be no live racing on Thursdays for the remainder of the meet. Racing will continue on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. To make up for the canceled Thursdays, Fairmount has extended its meet and will now close Sept. 30 rather than Labor Day. The decision was approved by

the Illinois Racing Board on Wednesday at a meeting at Arlington Park.

- Vance Hanson

River Downs

Leading rider Rodney Prescott enjoyed a tremendous week at River Downs last week. Of the 37 races run between last Thursday and Tuesday, Prescott won 14. Prescott was especially dominant on the seven-race programs, winning three races on Thursday, three on Sunday, and four on Saturday.

As in years past, Prescott is pulling double duty this summer, riding at River Downs during the day and at Indiana Downs at night and on River's dark days. His attempt at winning titles at both tracks simultaneously seems to be falling short, however, as he was in second place, 11 wins behind Joe Stokes in the Indiana Downs standings through Tuesday. The Indiana Downs meet ends June 28.

- The Sydney Gendelman Memorial for older statebreds on the turf is the feature on Saturday's card, but a competitive field of seven fillies and mares will also line up in a third-level allowance with a $16,000 claiming option that goes as race 10. Ashley and I, who is making her second start since January, could get an ideal stalking trip behind front-runners Harmonic Miss, Stone Lakes, and Jackie's Hope. Another with a chance at picking up some of the pieces is Fight Girl, a two-time winner this meet who was recently fourth in the Tomboy Stakes.

- Vance Hanson