11/12/2008 12:00AM

Biancone rebuilding slowly


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Patrick Biancone, who returned to training last week after serving a one-year suspension for the presence of the banned painkiller cobra venom in his Kentucky barn, said Wednesday that he is taking his time forming a stable. Biancone has been granted a trainers license by the California Horse Racing Board.

Biancone said that he expects to have only one starter during the current Hollywood Park meeting - Baroness Thatcher in the $150,000 Bayakoa Handicap on Dec. 7. Between now and the end of the Hollywood Park meeting on Dec. 21, Biancone said he plans to rebuild his racing stable, hoping to have as many as 30 runners by the start of 2009. Biancone said he will be active during the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting, which begins Dec. 26.

"I'm trying to rebuild with young horses," he said. "I don't want to take any horses that have run for [other] trainers. In two weeks, I will know more about what kind of stable I will have to compete at Santa Anita."

Biancone was given a one-year suspension by Kentucky racing officials last year after cobra venom was found in his tack room at Keeneland in June 2007. The suspension ended Oct. 31. Biancone, who based his stable in California during the winter prior to his suspension, was granted a license to train in this state after he restored a workers' compensation insurance policy that had lapsed.

Biancone on Wednesday declined to discuss the cobra venom sanction, but said he had little recourse because of the trainer's responsibility rule.

"I've never talked about it," he said. "For me, racing is more important than Patrick Biancone. The rules said the trainer is responsible, and I was the trainer. I think I finished my time and I paid for my mistake. From there, forget about it and turn the page.

"Under the rule of my suspension, I was not allowed to have any connection with racing. I complied with that."

Getting back to the routine of running a stable has been a change, he said.

"I was starting to get used to waking up at 8 a.m.," he said. "This is the next chapter."

Biancone, 56, said he plans to spend some of November traveling to Asia and Europe, scouting horses and talking with owners based overseas. He said he has "a few horses" currently based at Santa Anita.

Baroness Thatcher is a link to the time before Biancone's suspension. A 4-year-old filly, Baroness Thatcher began her career with Biancone and was sent to Bill Mott during his suspension. For both trainers, she was owned by Zayat Stables.

Earlier this month, Baroness Thatcher was purchased for $1.6 million by Tom Van Meter, Biancone said. Biancone signed the ticket at the sale under Patrick Biancone Racing, agent.

"I trained for him before," Biancone said of Van Meter. "He asked if I still liked her and said to buy her. It was one of the best days of my life. He said, 'You can have your first runner back in a stakes.' It's very rewarding."

Baroness Thatcher has won 3 of 21 starts and $531,889. For Biancone, Baroness Thatcher won the Grade 2 Santa Ysabel Stakes and was second in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita in early 2007.

Earlier this year, Baroness Thatcher finished second in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs in May and won an allowance race at Keeneland last month, ending a 15-race losing streak.

"She's a big boost for me," Biancone said. "She was in great condition when we bought her. The trainer that had her before did a great job."

Frankel well stocked for Matriarch

Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel has an excellent chance to win the $500,000 Matriarch Stakes for a record ninth time on Nov. 30 when he starts defending champion Precious Kitten and the European stakes winner Visit.

The Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes is run over a mile on turf for fillies and mares. Both Precious Kitten and Visit finished fourth in Breeders' Cup races at Santa Anita last month - Precious Kitten against males in the BC Mile and Visit in the BC Filly and Mare Turf in her U.S. debut.

Precious Kitten, owned by Roy and Gretchen Jackson's Lael Stables, will be retired at the end of the year.

"This will be her last race," Frankel said.

Visit, 3, has won 2 of 8 starts for owner-breeder Juddmonte Farms. Previously trained by Michael Stoute in England, Visit finished 1 1/2 lengths behind Forever Together in the BC Filly and Mare Turf. She had the lead at the eighth pole of that race over 1 1/4 miles on turf but was outfinished.

Visit won two Group 3 races in England and was third in the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes over a mile on turf at Newmarket, England, last month.

"I think a mile will be better for her," Frankel said.

Aside from the two Frankel horses, the other probable starters are Cocoa Beach, Magical Fantasy, Passified, Roshani, and Rosinka.

The Matriarch is part of a program that includes the $500,000 Hollywood Derby over 1 1/4 miles on turf. Muny, winner of the Oak Tree Derby on Oct. 25, and Madeo, winner of the Del Mar Derby in September and runner-up in the Oak Tree Derby, are contenders in a race also expected to include Court Vision, Cowboy Cal, Dixie Chatter, Gio Ponti, Sailor's Cap, and Winchester.

Winchester won the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park in September, and was seventh in the BC Turf at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.

Charlie's Moment gets a vacation

Charlie's Moment, who finished third as the 6-5 favorite in the Real Quiet Stakes last Saturday, has been turned out for two weeks, trainer Walther Solis.

"I just want to refresh his mind," Solis said.

Charlie's Moment won the Gateway to Glory Stakes at Fairplex Park in September. In the Real Quiet Stakes, Charlie's Moment led on the backstretch but faded to finish two lengths behind the winner, Chocolate Candy.

Charlie's Moment is expected to return to racing during the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting.