09/14/2005 11:00PM

Eight jocks take a race off


Eight of the 10 jockeys scheduled to ride in Wednesday's ninth race at Suffolk Downs chose to take off their mounts because of concerns over a section of the turf course that they felt had become uneven after it was watered that morning.

The second race, the only other turf race on Wednesday, was run without incident.

"It was a miscommunication between some of the riders and the track," said leading jockey Winston Thompson, who was one of four jockeys who did take part in the ninth race. "Some had concerns after we rode in the second race that part of the course near the eighth pole was too soft. I didn't have any concerns, and they had all day to work on it. I tried to convince [the other jockeys], but they chose to take off."

With the horses waiting in the paddock before the ninth, two rider changes were announced and six horses were scratched, leaving a four-horse field.

Tammi Piermarini replaced Luis Garcia aboard the eventual winner, Missstormyatlantic. Tamay Alpander replaced Vernon Bush on the runner-up, Mountain Miss. Thompson and apprentice Anne Sanguinetti stayed on their assigned mounts. The remaining six horses were scratched and refunds were given on scratched horses in the straight pools, withthe entire show pool was refunded. There were consolation daily double, pick three and pick four payoffs for all six scratched horses. Normally wagers on late scratches in the pick three and pick four are transferred to the post-time favorite, but in this case all the scratched horses were treated as non-starters.

There are no races scheduled for the grass on Saturday's card, and weather forecasters say there is a chance of rain over the weekend.

Paucar streaks to fair title

Fairs have sideshows, and this year's sideshow attraction at the Northampton Fair meet was jockey Frank Amonte's effort - unsuccessful, as it turned out - to win a race on or after his 70th birthday. While Amonte cemented his record as the oldest jockey to win a Thoroughbred race on the day before his birthday, the sideshow almost made you lose sight of the dominant performance by the meet's leading rider, Edgar Paucar.

Paucar, a 30-year-old Peruvian, won 23 times over the seven racing days to score the riding title easily. He started slowly, winning just three races over the first two days, but exploded over the final five, including a six-win day last Sunday. All told, in 53 races at the fair, Paucar raced 50 times and won 46 percent of the time. He finished in the money 70 percent of the time.

Paucar followed a similar splash at Northampton in 2003 by establishing himself at Suffolk Downs. He shifted to Beulah Park last winter and won the riding title there.

Vernon Bush and Ruben Rojas tied for second at the fair with seven wins each. Sam Keyrouze won the trainer title with eight victories.