01/06/2005 12:00AM

Day 2 brings no snafu

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Ryan McAlinden/Equi-Photo
Six-time British champion jockey Kieren Fallon rides his first winner at Gulfstream, Cartoonist, in Thursday's ninth race.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Gulfstream Park president Scott Savin was smiling as he walked to the paddock before Thursday's 10th race.

"What a difference a day makes," said Savin as the second day of the 2005 Gulfstream meeting was drawing to a close. "This was just a great day. Everything went just the way it was supposed to.

We really needed those 48 hours to work out the bugs."

There were few smiles seen anywhere around Gulfstream Park during Monday's opening-day card, which began with the first race declared no contest, and it ended with the finale canceled due to impending darkness. In between there were problems that ranged from a shortage of mutuel tellers throughout the plant to the inability of many patrons to view the races that were run.

"We added 40 more mutuel machines in the outdoor tent and two more betting huts since Monday," said Savin. "We also found a giant screen at the Orange Bowl, which we were able to rent and place near the paddock, giving fans a great view of the races from as far away as two-thirds of the way down the apron. I'm confident we'll be able to handle the bigger crowds that are expected over the weekend."

Gulfstream will card only nine races daily until the new auxiliary jockey's room is in place adjacent to the paddock. This will allow for sufficient time between races so the riders can travel between their quarters and the paddock. Savin said the goal is to have the auxiliary changing quarters ready by Thursday, when racing resumes after a scheduled three-day hiatus.

"The jockeys have been very cooperative and are much happier today," said Savin. "The racing surfaces have been unbelievable and the racing superb. Saturday's card is like a March card, and we've got it on the first weekend of the meet."

Fallon rides a winner

Jockey Kieren Fallon got his first victory of the meet, guiding Cartoonist to a victory in Thursday's ninth race. Fallon, 39, an Irishman and six-time British riding champion, will spend the entire winter at Gulfstream. The winning rider in the last two renewals of the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, Fallon last rode at Gulfstream Park in the 1999 Breeders' Cup, going winless with three mounts.

"Luckily, I had a horse good enough to get me out of trouble today," said Fallon.

Cartoonist, a lightly raced but promising son of Comic Strip trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, registered his second victory in four career starts.

"Kieren worked for me for about five months in Dubai when he was recuperating from a shoulder injury three years ago," said McLaughlin. "He rode his first winner in Dubai on one of my horses so it was nice to be able to put him on his first one at Gulfstream as well. He's a good friend and a very good rider."

Mr. Light's 'world record' still under review

A decision on whether to certify Mr. Light's world-record clocking of 1:31.41 for a mile on turf in Monday's ninth race will not be made until Saturday.

Gulfstream management has ordered a second survey of the course to ascertain whether the horses ran an exact mile on a course on which the rail was set out 60 feet.

"The course was surveyed Wednesday but the job was not done to our specifications so we're having it done again after the races today," Savin said on Thursday. "We'll put up temporary lighting and the crew will work all night if they have to. I want to make sure we get the most accurate measurements possible so we know for certain all future clockings on the grass will be correct."

Mr. Light rallied to win a third-level optional claiming and allowance race. His final time was .22 seconds faster than the existing world mark, set by Elusive Quality at Belmont Park in 1998.

Savin said representatives from Teleview Racing Patrol Inc. re-timed the race using three different methods and stated afterward they stand by the accuracy of the time.

Chuck Scaravilli, vice president of data collection for Equibase, Thoroughbred racing's official database, said the company will reserve judgment on whether to certify the time as a new world record until Gulfstream's review is final.

* Jorge Chavez rode two more winners on Thursday, one via disqualification, to draw within four of his 4,000th career victory.

* Madcap Escapade moved a little closer to her much-anticipated return, working five furlongs in 59 seconds at Gulfstream on Wednesday. Madcap Escapade suffered a hairline fracture of the hip and has not started since finishing third behind Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Ashado in the Kentucky Oaks on April 30.