10/08/2001 11:00PM

Dixie Dot Com done racing


ARCADIA, Calif. - The career of one of the most popular and courageous horses to race in California in recent years came to an end Tuesday when trainer Bill Morey Jr. said that Dixie Dot Com had been retired after again fracturing his left front cannon bone.

Dixie Dot Com had finished fifth of six in Sunday's Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting, prompting Morey to have Dixie Dot Com examined.

"We took precautionary X-rays, and they showed the cannon bone starting to open up again," Morey said from his Santa Anita barn. "It's a hairline fracture. It explains why he didn't run his race. He'll go to stud."

This was the fourth time that Dixie Dot Com fractured that cannon bone. He returned from the three previous injuries to win stakes such as the San Fernando Breeders' Cup Handicap in 1999, and the San Pasqual Handicap in 2000, both Grade 2 events at Santa Anita. This year, Dixie Dot Com won both the Texas Mile and Lone Star Park Handicap, both Grade 3 events at Lone Star Park. He also finished second to Skimming in Del Mar's Grade 1 Pacific Classic.

The repeated injuries limited Dixie Dot Com's racing career. Now age 6, he raced just 23 times. He won eight races and finished second six times, and earned $1,332,775.

Morey said Dixie Dot Com, a son of Dixie Brass, would return later this week to his main stable at Golden Gate Fields. He said Dixie Dot Com might be sold outright as a stallion, or be syndicated, with his present owners retaining shares.

Team Valor is loaded

Jeff Siegel is hoping that the misery of turning another year older is offset by a big week for Team Valor stable, of which he is the vice-president.

The week started the right way Monday at Santa Anita, when Delta Form, a horse Team Valor owns in partnership, won the $78,450 Henry P. Russell Handicap on Siegel's 51st birthday.

On Saturday, Team Valor will have Mister Approval in the $150,000 Oak Tree Derby at Santa Anita, Tiger Trap in the $150,000 Lawrence Realization at Belmont Park, and Reine de Romance in the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland.

Delta Form is one of the newest additions to the stable, which is overseen by president Barry Irwin. Though bred in Australia, Delta Form raced in South Africa, where last fall he won one of that country's richest races, the Summer Handicap. He was purchased in partnership with Gary Barber, a native of South Africa who is now a successful movie producer ("The Sixth Sense") in the United States.

Barber and Team Valor were partners in The Deputy, the 2000 Santa Anita Derby winner. As with The Deputy, Delta Form is trained by Jenine Sahadi.

"He came here in late January, and he didn't look that well then. It took six months to get him to the races," Siegel said. "He's not a blaster. He's more of a stayer. He should be a useful horse for us."

Delta Form rallied from last in the five-horse field to beat Quake by one length in 1:47.99 for 1 1/8 miles on firm turf. Seinne was third. Mike Smith rode Delta Form, who paid $8.60.

Team Valor's best chance this weekend may lay with Tiger Trap, for whom trainer Neil Drysdale has had high hopes since acquiring him one year ago. Drysdale also trains Mister Approval, who has been with Drysdale in New York this fall. "He's going back out there because he needs firm ground," Drysdale said from New York. Victor Espinoza has picked up the mount on Mister Approval.

Reine de Romance will have a rematch with Golden Apples and Affluent, who finished in front of her in the Del Mar Oaks. Tuesday at Santa Anita, Reine de Romance worked a half-mile in 49.80 seconds.

Queen Elizabeth lures California jockeys

A number of local jockeys are heading to Keeneland on Saturday for the Queen Elizabeth, including Eddie Delahoussaye, who rides Affluent, David Flores (Reine de Romance), Garrett Gomez (Golden Apples), and Corey Nakatani (Voodoo Dancer).

Drysdale said he would run Live Your Dreams in the Queen Elizabeth. She was sixth after a wide trip in the Del Mar Oaks. "I want to take a shot in this race, then put her away for a while," Drysdale said. Pat Day will ride Live Your Dreams.

Millennium Wind needs more time

Millennium Wind, who had been possible for the Pegasus Handicap at The Meadowlands on Oct. 19, will instead get a little more time before returning later this year, according to trainer David Hofmans.

"He's not going to make the Pegasus, and he won't make this meet," Hofmans said at Santa Anita. "We'll wait for him to tell us he's ready."

Hofmans said Millennium Wind might very well be pointed for the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26, opening day of Santa Anita's main winter meeting.