03/10/2006 12:00AM

Bill would help fund synthetic tracks

Island Fashion will head to Dubai, trying to end a 12-race loss streak.

ARCADIA, Calif. - California Sen. Dean Florez is preparing to introduce legislation that will aid the state of California's racetracks in funding the installation of synthetic racing surfaces, which the California Horse Racing Board has mandated be in place at state tracks by the start of 2008.

None of California's five Thoroughbred racetracks have such a surface, but Del Mar and Hollywood Park are considering installing one late this year or in 2007. Track officials have estimated the cost of installing a synthetic surface at approximately $8 million per track.

The surface, which is in use at Turfway Park and the Keeneland training track in Kentucky and on several tracks and training surfaces in England, is considered by many to be safer than a conventional surface, providing better cushion and consistency in poor weather.

In February, the CHRB voted to require any Thoroughbred track that operates four or more weeks per year to install a synthetic surface by the start of 2008. Some track executives have quietly questioned whether the CHRB should be requiring the installation of synthetic surfaces until such surfaces have been thoroughly tested. Turfway Park began racing on a Polytrack synthetic surface last September.

The CHRB's recent action is subject to a 45-day public comment period and another hearing before it will take effect.

Florez, chairman of the influential Senate Governmental Organization Committee, attended the February CHRB meeting.

The board has created an ad-hoc committee to discuss synthetic surfaces. The committee will meet with officials from Keeneland at Santa Anita on March 21, and with trainer Michael Dickinson at Santa Anita on April 4. Dickinson's Maryland farm uses his patented Tapeta surface.

Dubai trip: Two in, Badge of Silver out

Island Fashion and Shamoan are bound for the $1 million Godolphin Mile in Dubai on March 25, but Badge of Silver will not be making the trip, their respective trainers said earlier this week.

Island Fashion, unraced since finishing third in the Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park in December, was transferred to trainer Julio Canani earlier this year, having previously been trained by Marcelo Polanco.

Owned by Everest Stable, Island Fashion, 6, has won 27 starts and $1,965,970. She placed in five graded stakes last year, but is winless in 12 starts since winning the 2004 Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap.

Shamoan, 4, won the Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows last July, his lone stakes win. Trained by Eoin Harty, Shamoan has started twice at this meeting, finishing fourth in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26 and sixth in an allowance race on Jan. 14.

"I ran him back too fast," Harty said of the January loss. "It wasn't a prudent move.

"I wouldn't take him there if I thought he'd finish last and disgrace me. It's a good opportunity to run for decent money."

Badge of Silver was being considered for the $2 million Dubai Duty Free over about 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Badge of Silver has been troubled by a foot problem and recently missed training time, trainer Bobby Frankel said. The winner of the San Gabriel Handicap on turf in January, Badge of Silver will be pointed for the $250,000 Maker's Mark Mile on turf at Keeneland on April 14.

The Tin Man, the winner of the San Marcos Stakes here in January, worked a mile on the main track in 1:39.60 on Friday. He is bound for the Dubai Duty Free.

Guidry to be honored Sunday

Jockey Mark Guidry will be presented with the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award between the sixth and seventh races on Sunday.

Guidry, who is riding in Florida, was given the annual award by his fellow riders for personal character and riding accomplishments.

Guidry, 46, won the 2005 Santa Anita Derby on Buzzards Bay while riding briefly in California. He began his career in his native Louisiana and was later a fixture in Chicago, where he won seven riding titles at Hawthorne and nine at the defunct Sportsman's Park.

Ailing Valenzuela too weak to ride

Jockey Patrick Valenzuela took off his mounts after riding one horse on Thursday and did not ride on Friday, citing illness, according to his agent, Tom Knust. Valenzuela did not ride on Wednesday.

"He tried to ride yesterday but he felt really weak," Knust said on Friday morning. "I told him to take another day off. It's just the flu."

Through Thursday, Valenzuela led all riders at this meeting with 57 winners, seven more than second-place Garrett Gomez, who won five races on Wednesday and Thursday.

Two key Baffert 3-year-olds work

Bob and John, the winner of the Sham Stakes in February, worked five furlongs in 58.80 seconds on Friday, preparing for the $250,000 San Felipe Stakes on March 18.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Bob and John worked alone. A few minutes later, the Baffert-trained Point Determined worked six furlongs in 1:11.80, the fastest of 19 recorded works at the distance. Point Determined is also bound for the San Felipe.