08/27/2002 11:00PM

Fairmount track report


Collinsville, Ill. - Trainer Bill Duncan made an astute investment for owners Rose Aldag McVey and Dan Ramey when he claimed Fortunes of Gold for $3,200 on July 27. After finishing third and earning $800 in her first race for her new owners she captured a statebred optional claiming race with a winner's share of $4,800 in last Friday's eighth race.

Trainer Devin Stortzum and rider Mike James have long been a solid team at Fairmount, and Tuesday afternoon they combined for three straight wins. The streak started in the sixth with James booting home

D M's Awsum Koko ($12.40), continued in the seventh with heavily favored Rosa's Cove ($2.80), and wound up in the eighth with Ms June J ($9.20). The Stortzum-James pick three returned $182.20 on a $1 ticket.

Gary Heien and Ron Stein's homebred 3-year-old filly Jiroga Light defeated a tough group of older mares in Sunday's fourth with regular jockey Argelio "Gino" Velasquez up. The win gives her 2002 earnings of $52,610, $49,310 of which has come here at Fairmount, second highest total of the meet behind Dentons Ruby who has earned $56,700. Jiroga Light sports a consistent 9-4-3-2 record for trainer Eddie Essenpreis.

* Velasquez was fortunate to avoid serious injury Sunday when his mount Sox on Top was interfered with on the turn, clipped heels, and fell. Velasquez was run over by a following rival but escaped with only a few bruises. Heather Irion's mount, Dr. Lucado, was forced to veer out sharply in order to avoid Sox on Top, throwing Irion, who suffered a mild concussion but is not expected to miss much action.