07/25/2001 11:00PM

Broken leg puts Rollins out up to three months

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DEL MAR, Calif. - Jockey Chance Rollins is expected to miss two to three months after breaking his right leg in a starting gate accident at Del Mar on Wednesday.

Rollins was aboard Gray Rebel preparing for the start of a maiden claimer over 1 1/16 miles when the 3-year-old flipped over in the starting gate. According to Rollins's agent, Paige Schvaneveldt, Rollins was briefly pinned beneath Gray Rebel and suffered a spiral fracture of the tibia.

Rollins was taken to Scripps Hospital in La Jolla where he was fit with a cast. On Thursday, he was examined by Dr. Norman Kane, who works with the San Diego Chargers of the NFL. Schvaneveldt said Rollins will undergo another examination next week, but is not expected to need surgery.

"That's the good news," she said. "The bad news is that it will be two or three months at least."

Rollins had yet to win at Del Mar this summer, but he had 14 wins at the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting. The dominant rider at Turf Paradise in Phoenix in recent years, Rollins was planning to stay in Southern California this fall, Schvaneveldt said. "We had made plans to stay here, but now I don't know," she said. "We haven't discussed it."

* In Thursday's first race, jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. escaped serious injury after falling from Amber Sky in the stretch. Amber Sky, 9-1, was in front when she ducked to the outside in response to left-handed urging from Valdivia. Valdivia fell clear of Amber Sky and the trailing field, but landed heavily.

Tiznow rides again

Tiznow, the 2000 Horse of the Year, impressed jockey Chris McCarron with a five-furlong workout in 59.20 seconds on Thursday. The time was the third-fastest of 48 works at the distance.

"He went good and galloped out better, which is encouraging," McCarron said.

The 4-year-old Tiznow remains on schedule for a start in the Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap over a mile on Sept. 2, which would be his first race since winning the Santa Anita Handicap in March. Tiznow was sidelined during the spring and early summer because of muscle and back problems, but has trained well in recent weeks.

As recently as July 6, McCarron and trainer Jay Robbins were discouraged with the way that Tiznow traveled in a routine jog.

"He's made tremendous progress," McCarron said. "On July 6, it was discouraging. The signs weren't good. He felt off on his left hind. He has turned the corner."

McCarron has not ridden since Saturday after falling from Starrer shortly after the start of the Coaching Club American Oaks. He said he plans to ride on Friday.

Live Your Dreams in Sandy Blue

Live Your Dreams was unlucky to lose the Honeymoon Handicap at Hollywood Park on July 1. With a wide move on the final turn, she reached contention in midstretch but was caught near the line by Innit and lost by a neck.

The next major stakes for 3-year-old fillies on turf is Sunday's $150,000 San Clemente Handicap over a mile, but trainer Neil Drysdale is passing that spot with Live Your Dreams in favor of Saturday's $64,000 Sandy Blue Stakes, run over 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Her long-term goal is the $300,000 Del Mar Oaks on Aug. 18, where she may face Innit.

"This should sharpen her up," Drysdale said.

While Live Your Dreams is the likely favorite, she faces 10 others in the Sandy Blue, including Bel Serenata, who was second in the Ontario Damsel Stakes at Woodbine on July 2.

Scott exercising horses

Joy Scott, who has not ridden since breaking her right leg in a five-horse spill at Los Alamitos last January, has resumed exercising horses in the hope of a comeback in coming weeks. Scott was on the backstretch at Del Mar on Wednesday and Thursday. She has received doctor's clearance to begin exercising horses, and is testing the strength of her leg before proceeding.

She said there is a possibility of additional surgery if the right leg remains painful. She said her the leg is more than an inch shorter than the left one following surgery.

Scott broke the tibia and fibula in the spill, which came on the turn of an 870-yard race. She had supporting pins placed in the leg and initially thought she could return in the spring. "This is the worst I've ever had," she said.

All-purpose turf cure

Janet and Starrer are both being aimed at turf stakes.

Janet, the winner of the Ramona Handicap at Del Mar, will make her next start in the $150,000 Palomar Handicap on Sept. 1 or the $500,000 Diana Handicap at Saratoga on Sept. 3. "That's a big difference in money," trainer Darrell Vienna said.

Starrer may return in the $300,000 Del Mar Oaks over 1 1/8 miles on turf, which would be her debut on that surface.

* Saturday's Hero, the impressive winner of a maiden race for 2-year-olds on July 21, will miss two months of training because of sore shins, trainer Bob Baffert said on Thursday.

Owned by Donald and Mary Zuckerman, Saturday's Hero won a maiden race by 5 1/2 lengths in his second start, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 90. "He had something come up, a little shin," Baffert said. "He'll get 60 days off."

Go to Del Mar coverage.