12/12/2001 12:00AM

Charles Town


Trainer John McKee gave jockey Jesus Sanchez his choice of three horses to ride in last Saturday's St. Nick Stakes at Charles Town. Without hesitation, Sanchez was about to select Kris Taylor. McKee, however, convinced him to ride Cloudy Mist.

Fortunately for Sanchez, he listened to the trainer. Kris Taylor could do no better than fourth. Cloudy Mist capped a 2-year-old season in which he won races at three tracks and four distances with a three-quarter length victory in the $40,000 St. Nick, contested at seven furlongs over a sloppy track.

"I really like Kris Taylor," said Sanchez. "John told me to stick with Cloudy Mist. I have to thank him for that. He made the right choice."

Sanchez made all the right moves himself as he posted a riding triple Saturday, a double Thursday, and won six races overall for the week. He won the 2000 riding title at Charles Town and ranks third behind Travis Dunkelberger and Larry Reynolds this year.

Dunkelberger won eight races at Charles Town last week and ranks third in the nation with 389 wins through Monday, trailing leaders Ramon Dominguez by 17 with less than three weeks left.

* Longshot players who played horses ridden by Alexis Rios-Conde did well last week. Three of the four winners Rios-Conde rode - Va Bene ($17.40), Avelino ($59), and Express Oro ($48) - triggered trifecta payoffs of $3,119, $2,694, and $2,037.