11/16/2006 12:00AM

Big bettor's plan backfires when Borel takes day off


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - When the leading rider at the Churchill Downs fall meet, Calvin Borel, took off all his mounts Wednesday because of a chronically sore knee, it cost an inattentive bettor far more money than it possibly could have cost Borel, his agent, or any of the horsemen for whom the jockey was scheduled to ride.

An unidentified horseplayer or horseplayers wagered thousands of dollars to win on all seven of Borel's scheduled mounts - but then failed to cancel the bets even after it was made public that Borel would not be riding. Because of the early wagers, all of those horses opened up as odds-on favorites, but none of them wound up winning with other jockeys aboard.

The unusual situation went unnoticed by Churchill's top mutuels officials, who said Thursday that they do not have the technology to trace when and where the wagers were made.

"Only at the exact time the wagers are made are we able to pinpoint where the bets are made, and for how much," said Rick Smith, director of mutuels.

The early wagers appeared to be for at least $2,000 each, and with Wednesday being a relatively slow business day for Churchill - the all-sources handle was only $5.2 million, second-lowest (behind Nov. 7) of the meet - that was enough to make them huge favorites on the first flash of the tote board. One of the scheduled Borel mounts was Racehorse Davis, who was listed at 20-1 on the morning line for the fifth race. The horse opened at 4-5 before eventually drifting up to almost 9-1 and finishing sixth under substitute jockey Randall Toups.

Jerry Hissam, Borel's longtime agent, said he has noticed many of Borel's mounts taking heavy early action, even before what occurred Wednesday.

"The story I'm getting is that it's somebody local [at Churchill], although nobody's verified it," said Hissam. "Even early in the meet, this guy was betting $500 on every mount. I could tell by how low the odds were early. So actually the guy's been doing very well, although I guess he should've been paying closer attention [Wednesday]."

Borel took off all mounts again Thursday but was scheduled to resume riding Friday. Hissam said Borel went to see Dr. Raymond Shea, a noted orthopedic surgeon and sports physician based in Louisville, on Wednesday.

"Dr. Shea said he thought Calvin should be okay to ride the rest of the meet," said Hissam.

As of Friday, only seven days remained at the Churchill meet, where Borel has been uncanny. His 21 wins continued to lead all riders through Thursday action, and the average $2 win payoff on his mounts has been more than $20. Most importantly, he won the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile aboard Street Sense for the biggest victory of his 24-year riding career.

Borel has said he would very much like to be the leading rider at this meet, which would mark just his second Churchill title (he also led the 1999 fall standings).

"It's like Calvin said, 'If it's meant to happen, it will, and if it's not, it won't,' " said Hissam. "Anytime you're down for some reason and not riding, it's not good timing. I guess you could say this is a little worse than most other times. But I'm sure when he comes back riding, it'll be at full strength. That's just the way Calvin is."

After the meet, Borel will take time off before returning at the Oaklawn Park meet that begins Jan. 19.

Maiden enters Mrs. Revere

While the Mrs. Revere appears to be a deep and competitive race, one filly does not exactly fit that profile: Goldie Rose, who has yet to finish better than fourth in 18 career starts.

Goldie Rose had been trained throughout her career by her owner, Murrell Farmer, but was turned over recently to Farmer's daughter Julie, who will ship the filly from the Thoroughbred Training Center in Lexington, Ky.

Goldie Rose "is going to run a lot better than people think," Murrell Farmer said Thursday from the family farm, Farmer Ridge Farms, in Campbellsville, Ky., a rural town located about a two-hour drive southeast of Louisville. "If you look back on her form, her two grass races were her best races."

The cost to enter in the Mrs. Revere was $750, and the cost to start is another $750. Goldie Rose has career earnings of $3,430.

"I wouldn't miss being there for the world," said Murrell Farmer.

* Julien Leparoux will be in California on Saturday to ride Belgravia for trainer Patrick Biancone in the Hollywood Prevue. Leparoux, the nation's leading jockey in wins this year, also rode at Hollywood last Sunday. He has said repeatedly through his agent, Steve Bass, that he intends to ride primarily this winter at Turfway Park and not at Santa Anita, where Biancone will have a string of horses.

* Trainer Naseem Rauf will put a dubious streak on the line when he runs Muna in the first race Saturday. Rauf, based at the Thoroughbred Training Center, is winless with his last 335 starters since going 2 for 76 in 1990.