10/29/2001 1:00AM

Exogenous, Jump Start recovering


ELMONT, N.Y. - Two days after her horrifying fall, Exogenous continued to make progress at Belmont Park on Monday, leading to hope that she will recover fully from a severe concussion.

Scotty Schulhofer, who trains the filly for Vernon Heath's Centaur Farms, said Exogenous was "bright and alert" Monday morning. She has been confined to a stall since being taken in a horse ambulance to Schulhofer's barn after she fell only minutes before her scheduled start in Saturday's Breeders' Cup Distaff.

"She's doing good. We're very optimistic," Schulhofer said. "She took a nap yesterday afternoon and got up on her own." Schulhofer said Exogenous might be able to walk around the shed row in a few days. He said the filly would not race again. The hope is for her to be bred next spring.

Exogenous fell backwards and landed heavily on her head just as she was about to step on the track for the post parade for the Distaff. She was given a tranquilizer and was loaded, prone, into the horse ambulance. She also was given a corticosteroid to help reduce swelling to the brain. Schulhofer said the filly had a severe concussion, but that her skull was not fractured.

While Exogenous was being attended to by veterinarians, a screen was brought out to shield the public from the filly. A screen is usually brought out when a horse is so gravely injured it must be euthanized. Scotty Schulhofer feared the worst when he first saw it. "I wanted to throw up," he said.

Exogenous appeared a bit woozy on Sunday morning. "She's a little unstable on her feet, but she's eating and drinking," said Randy Schulhofer, Scotty's son and his top assistant. "Every hour we get more optimistic." Scotty Schulhofer said the difference in Exogenous from Sunday to Monday was significant.

The progress of Exogenous was a welcome relief for the Schulhofers, whose patient handling of the filly resulted in her developing into a two-time Grade 1 winner this year. She is also a leading candidate for the 3-year-old filly championship.

Jockey Javier Castellano, who was on Exogenous, was not injured when the filly fell.

- Jay Privman

Jump Start survives complicated surgery

Jump Start, who finished 11th in Saturday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile, was resting comfortably in his Belmont Park stall Monday morning following a lengthy, complicated operation to repair his broken left foreleg. While he will not race again, he should survive to be a stallion prospect.

Jump Start suffered a comminuted displaced lateral condyal fracture of the left front cannonbone and he fractured the lateral sesamoid bones in multiple places, Dr. Stephen Selway said. Selway, who inserted three screws into Jump Start's cannonbone, said Jump Start was on the operating table for more than four hours, most of it spent trying to properly align the remaining bone matter.

"It was like somebody gave you a jigsaw puzzle and cut all the knobs off," Selway said. "There was no way to get good alignment."

Selway said there were a few times he thought Jump Start was not going to make it.

Selway said the injury was similar to that incurred by Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Charismatic in the 1999 Belmont Stakes. Only, Charismatic "did not grind the joint like this," Selway said.

Selway said Jump Start would need three to four months of stall rest before he could be shipped out of Belmont. Selway said it was uncertain whether Jump Start would be able to breed in 2002.

- David Grening

All in the family

Unbridled Elaine's victory in Saturday's Breeders' Cup Distaff completed a third generation triple. Her sire, Unbridled's Song, won the 1995 Juvenile. Unbridled, the sire of Unbridled's Song, won the 1990 Classic. All three Breeders' Cup wins came at Belmont Park.

She was also one of three Breeders' Cup winners whose sire also won a Breeders' Cup race. Val Royal, the Mile winner, was sired by 1990 Mile winner Royal Academy. Tempera, the Juvenile Fillies winner, was sired by 1992 Classic winner A.P. Indy.

- David Grening

Japan Cup may be next for Fantastic Light

Fantastic Light may not be headed for stud duties quite yet as Godolphin Racing mulls over the possibility of sending him to Tokyo for the Japan Cup on Nov. 24.

His victory in the Breeders' Cup Turf on Saturday propelled him into a virtually insurmountable 11-point lead over Galileo in the Emirates World Series Racing Championship, which rewards its champion with a $1 million bonus. With Galileo headed for retirement at Coolmore Farm and Sakhee, who has 18 points, almost certain to be sent to Godolphin's wintertime training base at Al Quoz to prepare for the Dubai World Cup, Fantastic Light could only add to his victory margin in Japan.

A close third behind T.M. Opera O and Meisho Doto in last year's Japan Cup, Fantastic Light would be the third Godolphin winner of the Emirates World Series. He was last year's champion following Daylami's heroics in 1999. Racing manager Simon Crisford was quoted on the Godolphin web site Monday as saying that the Godolphin team will try to persuade Sheikh Maktoum, who has the final say on Fantastic Light's program, to send the Turf winner to Japan.

Sakhee seems likely to remain in training next year, although there has not yet been an announcement. In the past, Godolphin has kept its best 4-year-olds like Swain, Daylami and Fantastic Light, in training at 5.

Sakhee and Galileo have been invited to the $3.85 million Japan Cup but will not run. Neither will Lailani, who has been retired after her seven-race winning streak was snapped in the Filly and Mare Turf.

Aidan O'Brien and Michael Tabor may choose between the Japan Cup and the Hong Kong Vase for their Turf runner-up, Milan.

Three American horses, Timboroa, With Anticipation, and White Heart have also been invited to Japan, while Cagney, winner of Sunday's Clement Hirsch at Santa Anita, stands an excellent chance of cracking the lineup after all the defections have been announced.

Lido Palace will run in the $2 million, 1 5/16-mile Japan Cup Dirt on Nov. 22, "as long as things remain all right with him" according to trainer Bobby Frankel. He could be joined by Jockey Club Gold Cup second-place finisher Generous Rosi, who has been invited along with Tiznow, Include, Freedom Crest, Dig For It, Bach, and Black Minnaloushe.

Mutamam has been retired after his last place finish in the Turf. The winner of 11 of 21 starts for earnings of $1,383,454, Mutamam will stand at Britain's National Stud in Newmarket for 6,000 pounds ($8,623).

Filly and Mare Turf winner Banks Hill will remain in training with Andre Fabre, who will point her at all of the world's best 1 1/4-mile races. Crystal Music, seventh in the Filly and Mare Turf, will be aimed at the Matriarch Stakes by John Gosden, while Turf also-ran Slew The Red will be turned over to Neil Drysdale.

- Alan Shuback

Overall handle drops slightly

Final handle numbers for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on Saturday at Belmont Park are expected to be 2 to 3 percent lower than last year, officials said Monday, the first time that handle has dipped on the event since 1995.

Breeders' Cup officials said that the estimate for all-sources handle on the eight Breeders' Cup races is currently $98 million, approximately $3 million lower than last year's record total of $101.3 million. Handle on the Breeders' Cup has risen the past six years, and handle has dipped only four times.

"Given that the economy is in a recession, given the events of Sept. 11, given the fact that we ran at the end of the month instead of the beginning and what that means for payrolls, a 2 to 3 percent decrease does not seem significant to me," said Ken Kirchner, the Breeders' Cup's director of simulcasting.

Kirchner said that handle may have also been affected by the string of longshots that opened the card. The high prices meant that few people were cashing tickets, leading to less churn. Additionally, a delay created by the injury to Exogenous meant less time between races than was anticipated as Belmont and Breeders' Cup squeezed post times to fit the eight races into NBC's five-hour broadcast window.

Attendance of 52,987 was the highest Belmont has posted for Breeders' Cup, and it was 15,000 people higher than the last time the track had the event, in 1995, when the track was criticized for failing to prepare adequately.

This year, according to Terry Meyocks, the staff on hand for the Breeders' Cup was nearly comparable to the number of workers on a Belmont Stakes day, which has drawn crowds over the past three years of over 70,000.

"We did not have any major problems, and I haven't heard any complaints," Meyocks said.

Barry Schwartz, the chairman of NYRA, said Monday that the only complaint he had received was about long lines at the so-called IRS windows, where bettors with payouts at odds of 300-1 or greater have to fill out W-2G forms declaring their winnings for tax purposes.

"We had all those long prices, and I guess if we had known about that beforehand, we would have put in more windows that can handle that type of paperwork," Schwartz said.

- Matt Hegarty