05/22/2002 11:00PM

Fair asks to run at Santa Anita


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Los Angeles County Fair officials on Thursday made a formal request to the California Horse Racing Board to approve a relocation of the fair's race meeting in September from Fairplex Park to Santa Anita, CHRB officials said.

Any change in venues on the racing calender must be approved by the CHRB, which has its next meeting at Bay Meadows on June 6.

The Los Angeles County Fair holds racing dates at Fairplex Park in Pomona for Sept. 13-29.

The issue is likely to prompt debate at the CHRB meeting. Commissioner John Harris said last week he is opposed to a change in venue this year because of the lack of time for a thorough study.

In addition, the relocation is opposed by the Oak Tree Racing Association, which annually holds a fall meeting at Santa Anita. This year's Oak Tree meeting is scheduled from Oct. 2 to Nov. 3.

"It's surprising that Santa Anita, which has been our landlord for 30 years, takes a position that [hurts] our meeting," said Oak Tree vice president Sherwood Chillingworth. "Why, at this late date, is there a rush to change the calender? We need to have a prolonged discussion and look at the whole racing calender and do this in a thoughtful manner."

Decarchy out of Shoemaker

Decarchy, the winner of two graded stakes for turf milers earlier this year, will miss Monday's $500,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile because of an injury that threatens his participation in the Breeders' Cup Mile this fall, trainer Bobby Frankel said.

The 5-year-old Decarchy was diagnosed on Wednesday with a "microfracture" of a shin, Frankel said. The injury was detected during a recent nuclear scan. He said the injury was "less than" a hairline.

Decarchy was considered a top candidate for the Shoemaker Mile, one of the nation's top races for turf milers.

"He'll be back, but he'll need a few months off," Frankel said. "If we get lucky, we'll make it back for the Breeders' Cup."

Owned by Juddmonte Farms, Decarchy has won 2 of 3 starts this year. He won the Grade 3 Tanforan Handicap at Golden Gate Fields on Feb. 9 and the Grade 2 Frank Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita on March 2 against a strong field. He finished second by a length to Suances in the San Francisco Breeders' Cup Handicap at Bay Meadows on April 27.

The scratch of Decarchy has left jockey Kent Desormeaux on Special Ring and leaves Frankel with one starter, Thady Quill. The 5-year-old Thady Quill is winless in four starts since the Wickerr Handicap at Del Mar last July. Thady Quill was second to Ladies Din in an allowance race here on April 24.

Desormeaux has never ridden Special Ring, who won a one-mile allowance race on turf by 3 1/2 lengths at Santa Anita on April 17. Trained by Julio Canani, Special Ring could have been claimed for $95,000 in January.

The Shoemaker is part of a Memorial Day program that includes the $500,000 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap and a $1 million guaranteed pick six pool.

The Gamely, run over 1 1/8 miles on turf for fillies and mares, is expected to include Astra, Crazy Ensign, Old Money, Snow Dance, Starine, Verruma, and Voodoo Dancer.

Astra, who will go favored, and Starine have won Grade 1 stakes over this turf course in the last year. Astra won the Beverly Hills Handicap last year and the Santa Barbara Handicap last month at Santa Anita. Starine won the Matriarch Stakes last November and was second in the Santa Ana Handicap in March, her only start of 2002.

Four-win day for Valenzuela

Patrick Valenzuela took a seven-win lead in the jockeys' standings after scoring four wins from seven mounts on Wednesday's program.

Valenzuela won on two favorites and two longshots, scoring victories on Politarium ($5.20) in the first race, Karsavina ($3.40) in the fourth, Here Me Out ($16.20) in the sixth, and Calzada Kid ($18.80) in the seventh.

Wednesday's milestone was Valenzuela's first four-win day at Hollywood since 1993. He last won a riding title here in 1991, but was second in the 1999 fall meeting, the last meeting he rode before missing two years because of a suspension for substance abuse problems.

Valenzuela has been based at Hollywood Park since the meeting opened on April 24, while some riders have ventured out of town for the Triple Crown and other stakes.

"I was suspended for three days, too," he said, referring to a riding infraction.

With the Triple Crown series ending on June 8, Valenzuela will have more competition on the local scene and added pressure to maintain his lead.