10/02/2002 12:00AM

Bien Nicole to try for 5


The Breeders' Cup will come a day early for Bien Nicole.

After winning four races in a row, Bien Nicole is being sent to Arlington Park later this month for the $100,000 Estrapade Handicap, to be run Oct. 25, the day before the World Thoroughbred Championships.

Bien Nicole defeated male rivals Sunday in the $150,000 DeBartolo Memorial Breeders' Cup Turf at Remington Park.

"I thought [her race] was outstanding," said Donnie Von Hemel, who trains Bien Nicole. "She beat tougher horses than she's ever run against, horses like Maysville Slew and Candid Glen."

Before the DeBartolo, Bien Nicole won the $150,000 River Cities Breeders' Cup at Louisiana Downs, the $50,000 Margarita Breeders' Cup at Retama Park, and an optional claimer at Lone Star Park.

Hamilton on the mend

Desiree Hamilton, a Retama Park-based apprentice jockey who suffered multiple facial fractures Sept. 21 when a horse she was working collapsed and died, was scheduled to begin physical therapy Wednesday, said her agent, Linda Duhon.

Duhon said Hamilton will have to undergo facial surgery. "On the right side of her face there is no feeling," Duhon said. "And her jaw is fractured in four different places."

Despite the injuries, Hamilton has made significant improvement since the accident. "The first three days were scary, but she has just started coming around," Duhon said. "It has a lot to do with her fitness."

Duhon added that she looks for Hamilton to return to race riding. The 20-year-old Hamilton picked up the first two wins of her career this meet at Retama Park.

Remington petition

The Oklahoma Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, which represents Thoroughbred horsemen at Remington Park, is encouraging its membership to sign a petition in support of the track, which has sought to drop its Quarter Horse meet next year to cut its losses.

Remington's plan received preliminary approval from the Oklahoma Racing Commission in August, but was voted down by the commission last month following protests from Quarter Horse interests. Remington officials have said that if they are held to the meet, the track could be forced to close. A final commission decision on dates is scheduled to come Oct. 17.

The OHBPA hopes the petition, which is being sent to Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, will influence commissioners to change their decision on the dates. The organization is also urging members to call Keating.

Topper a full to Astas Foxy Lady

A colt by Zuppardo's Prince brought a $48,000 bid on Tuesday to top the Louisiana Breeders Sales Company yearling auction at Louisiana Downs. The colt is a full brother to Astas Foxy Lady, a Grade 2 winner of $335,032.

Rowe and Diana Greene purchased the Zuppardo's Prince colt from agent Clear Creek Stud.

Another Norman invasion

Trainer Cole Norman, who won both divisions of the $50,000 Texas Stallion Stakes last Saturday night at Retama, will to return there with both winners on Oct. 12.

Norman plans to start Fitzroyal, who won the colts and geldings division, in either the $30,000 Longhorn for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs, or the $30,000 Tejas for 3-year-olds over five furlongs on turf. Both races are for Texas-breds.

Dancing Dreams, winner of the fillies division, will move to turf for the $30,000 Selma.

* Jockey Weldon Cloninger Jr., who fractured his leg in two places in a starting gate accident last Saturday night at Retama, has been released from the hospital. He has a support rod in his leg and will miss the remainder of the season. Cloninger ranks third in the Retama standings behind leader Roman Chapa.

* A qualifying tournament for the Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association Handicapping Championship will be held at Sam Houston Race Park on Saturday.