07/10/2003 11:00PM

Cal-breds shared in Pincay's glory


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The biography of Laffit Pincay Jr. that appears in the Hollywood Park media guide covers six pages. Three of them are dedicated to reviewing his major stakes wins over the last 35 years.

Listed among those pages are numerous California-breds who played a pivotal role in the Hall of Fame career of the jockey whose retirement will be honored at Hollywood Park on Sunday.

From the early 1970's to as recently as last summer, statebreds helped Pincay reach major milestones.

In the 1970's, he was the regular rider of Ancient Title and Crystal Water. In the 1980's, he rode top California-bred Super Diamond. In the last few years, his top mounts have been Sky Jack and Calkins Road, both Cal-breds.

All of those but Calkins Road have one thing in common - they each won the Hollywood Gold Cup, a race Pincay won nine times.

Two of his first three Gold Cup wins came with Cal-breds.

Ancient Title raced from 1972 to 1978, and Pincay often rode the horse during the first half of the horse's career. He was aboard for Ancient Title's maiden win in the horse's second career start, on July 7, 1972.

Ancient Title in 1975 gave Pincay his first Gold Cup win. The win was Pincay's final stakes victory aboard Ancient Title. They combined for four stakes wins in 1974 - the San Fernando, Charles H. Strub Stakes, Los Angeles Handicap, and Palos Verdes Handicap - earning Ancient Title the California-bred horse of the year title.

Pincay was aboard Ancient Title in the Hollywood Gold Cup that season, too, and they finished 2 1/2 lengths behind Tree of Knowledge after leading in early stretch.

As a 5-year-old in 1975, Ancient Title defended his title as statebred of the year. With Pincay aboard, Ancient Title began the year with a win in the San Carlos Handicap and later won the Californian, four weeks before the Gold Cup. Later that year, Sandy Hawley rode Ancient Title to a victory in the Whitney Handicap.

Pincay was aboard Ancient Title for two more races in the fall of 1975, including a third to Wajima and Forego in the Marlboro Cup at Belmont Park, but he did not ride Ancient Title in the final three years of the gelding's career.

In the second half of the 1970's, Pincay's top California-bred was Crystal Water.

In 1977, the 4-year-old Crystal Water and Pincay won the Santa Anita Handicap, Californian Stakes, and Hollywood Gold Cup in consecutive starts, soundly defeating Ancient Title in each race. Pincay and Crystal Water did not have as much luck that fall at Belmont Park, finishing third in the Marlboro Handicap and fifth as the favorite in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

In the middle of the 1980's, Pincay teamed with the late Eddie Gregson to win major stakes with the gelding Super Diamond. In 1986, the 6-year-old Super Diamond won the Bel Air Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup, and Goodwood Handicap with Pincay. Super Diamond did not start in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita that year, a race Pincay won with the Kentucky-bred Skywalker.

Later that year, Super Diamond won the On Trust Handicap for statebreds at Hollywood Park.

In the final full season of Pincay's career, California-breds provided the jockey with his biggest stakes wins. Pincay was aboard Sky Jack for wins in the Hollywood Gold Cup and Mervyn LeRoy Handicap, and on Calkins Road for scores in the Snow Chief Stakes and California Cup Classic.

By then, Pincay had already made California Cup history. In 2000, he won five stakes on Cal Cup Day, a Santa Anita record, including the 9,000th winner of his career aboard Chichim in the Distaff.