05/16/2004 11:00PM

Cap and gown exchanged for jockey silks


SAN MATEO, Calif. - It has been quite a month for 23-year-old apprentice jockey Anne Sanguinetti.

On May 1, she graduated from Pepperdine University with a degree in economics with a minor in Spanish. The next day, she finished third aboard Dubai Dolly at Hollywood Park.

She may get her first career victory Wednesday when trainer Dennis Ward puts her aboard Lunge, a winner in all three of her starts, in a six-furlong allowance race that is the Bay Meadows feature.

Lunge will get a 10-pound weight break as she meets five other 3-year-old fillies. Included in the field are Capitola, a game winner in her debut; Crafty Babe, stepping up off a victory in a $25,000 claimer; and comebacking Cherish Destiny, second in last summer's Grade 3 Landaluce at Hollywood Park.

Capitola is the likely favorite. She defeated heavy favorite Please Lord in her debut, battling head-and-head while pinned on the rail before edging away near the wire from a filly who had run second against allowance rivals in her debut.

"She impressed me," said jockey Chad Schvaneveldt, who rode Please Lord in her debut. "She does everything so easy in the morning. She has a nice, free stride. She surprised me with her speed that day, and I know she'll improve because there's a lot more there."

But Lunge has done nothing wrong, winning her debut for a $12,500 tag at Turf Paradise before moving to Santa Anita, where she won for $18,000 and then $37,500.

Not many trainers would use a young rider such as Sanguinetti aboard a live contender such as Lunge, but Ward has confidence in her. She finished second Sunday in a sprint aboard Rileys Orbit, a 3-year-old gelding owned by her father and Ward.

"She's been getting on [Lunge] all year," Ward said. "A bug boy [Alex Bisono] won with her last time. It's just a question of getting away from the gate with her, and Anne can get horses out of the gate."

Sanguinetti has been riding since she was 6 and even trained her own hunter jumpers. Three years ago, her horse was retired due to injury so she came to Bay Meadows and asked the stable gate attendant how to learn to gallop horses. He introduced her to several trainers, and she eventually met with the stewards, who suggested she go to a farm to learn the basics.

She did, and, eventually, her mentor, Blan Wilson, told her to go to the track and look up Ward.

"The first horse he put me on was Surprise Halo, who was a stakes winner," Sanguinetti said. "When I came back to the barn, I said, 'This is a nice horse,' and he said, 'The best in my barn.' Later I found out who the horse was and couldn't believe the first one he threw me on was that one."

Ward has had success with young riders.

"I like helping young kids," he said. "I've had three Eclipse winners in my stable, my son, Wesley (1984), Dale Beckner (1994), and Ariel Smith (1999). She's there every day. She's got perfect form, but has to get her fundamentals together like all young riders."

Graceful Stepper in foal

Graceful Stepper, who overcame a fractured skull and fractured left hind leg to become a winner, is in foal to Beau Genius. The 5-year-old Graceful Stepper trained by Brian Pitnick, tore a suspensory ligament in her right front leg winning a $40,000 starter allowance race at Golden Gate Fields on Presidents' Day and had to be retired.

Horse Camp 101

The Glen Ellen Vocational Academy, northern California's only Thoroughbred rescue facility, will host Horse Camp 101, a series of four sessions for children and adults interested in learning about the safe and humane handling of horses.

Five day sessions for youngsters 9-12, 13-15, and 16-18 will be held on Aug. 9, 16, and 23 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Evening adult sessions from 5:30-8 p.m. will be held on six Tuesdays beginning Aug. 24. Sessions will be limited to 10 participants and cost $485 for the youngsters' sessions and $400 for the adult sessions.

For information, contact GEVA at (707) 527-p8092 or at www.glenellenfarms.com/geva.