12/15/2005 12:00AM

Fallon to winter in California


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Kieren Fallon, the six-time champion jockey in England, will ride at Santa Anita this winter, Fallon's new agent, Ron Ebanks, said Thursday.

Ebanks said that he and Fallon finalized plans earlier this week to form a team after first discussing the idea more than a month ago. Fallon, 40, will arrive in California in time to ride the opening day of the Santa Anita meeting on Dec. 26. He will remain in California until the spring before returning to Europe, Ebanks said.

The Santa Anita meeting runs through April 23, but Fallon is expected to return to Europe before then. The European turf season for flat horses begins in late March.

"He's going to try to stay as long as he can," Ebanks said.

Ebanks said that Fallon has been booked to ride Becrux in the $100,000 Sir Beaufort Stakes for 3-year-olds over a mile on turf on opening day.

Fallon rode at Gulfstream Park in Florida briefly last winter before launching a successful partnership with Irish-based trainer Aidan O'Brien. Fallon made one trip to the United States during the summer, winning the Arlington Million on the O'Brien-trained Powerscourt. He rode the Breeders' Cup program at Belmont Park in October, with his best result a second in the Turf aboard the O'Brien-trained Ace.

Fallon rode regularly in England and Ireland earlier this year, winning the Irish Derby and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe aboard Hurricane Run. Last weekend, he won the Hong Kong Vase on Ouija Board.

Fallon last rode at Santa Anita in the 2003 Breeders' Cup, winning the Filly and Mare Turf aboard Islington. In 2001, Fallon rode in the now-defunct International Jocke's Challenge, but was winless with five mounts.

Bob and John and good luck

Stonerside Stable often sells its most promising yearling colts, and intended to do the same with Bob and John, a 2-year-old who will shoot for a Grade 1 win on Saturday at Hollywood Park in the Hollywood Futurity. But a series of fortuitous events kept Bob and John with Stonerside.

Bob and John originally was part of a package of yearling colts Stonerside was to sell privately in March 2004. "But when we were getting ready to close the deal, he kicked the side of his stall and cracked a coffin bone in his right hind leg," said John Adger, the racing manager for Stonerside owners Bob and Janice McNair. "So he had to be taken out of the package. It was kind of a fluke. If he hadn't kicked the stall, he'd have been sold."

Bob and John, a son of Seeking the Gold, was back on the market in September 2004, when he was offered at the Keeneland yearling sale. According to Adger, Bob and John had a reserve price of $500,000, but when bidding stalled far below that, Stonerside bought him back as a "reserve not attained" for $325,000.

"We had some people come up after the sale wanting to give us the RNA price, but we said no. We decided to take a shot and run him," Adger said.

This year, Stonerside sold three yearlings in sales that attained prices of $3 million or more, one by A.P. Indy and two by Storm Cat.

"With Stonerside, we want it to be a self-sustaining business, so we try to sell enough expensive yearlings to meet our numbers, and then we race the rest," Adger said. "Fortunately, the McNairs have allowed us to buy nice mares and breed them to top stallions. Bob's a businessman. He wants Stonerside to stand on its own two feet. The only way to do it is to sell some of our best yearlings."

Giacomo works easy half-mile

Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo breezed a half-mile in 53 seconds at Hollywood Park on Thursday, but appeared eager to do much more.

Working alone, Giacomo spent considerable time on the track. He jogged nearly 1 1/2 miles in the "wrong" direction before exercise rider Frankie Herrarte turned him around to begin the workout.

Giacomo finished well and galloped out strongly. He was allowed to continue galloping for approximately a bit more than a half-mile after the workout. Shirreffs said that he has not pressured Giacomo in workouts by design.

"We're doing a little undertraining instead of overtraining," Shirreffs said. "My whole deal is I don't want him to be anxious."

Giacomo has had four timed workouts since returning to serious training in the fall.

"He looks terrific," said owner Jerry Moss, who was present for Thursday's workout. "Everything is going really nice."

Unraced since finishing seventh in the Belmont Stakes in June, Giacomo is expected to make a return in January, with the $300,000 Strub Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 4 his first major goal. Giacomo was off during the summer after undergoing surgery to have bone chips removed from an ankle and knee.

Bashert not quite ready

Bashert, second in two sprint stakes during the summer, was not entered for the Hollywood Futurity after co-owner and trainer Bill Currin said Bashert needed more time to be ready after a three-month break.

Currin said that Bashert will be pointed for the $150,000 San Vicente Stakes over seven furlongs for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita on Feb. 12. "That can be my gateway to the Derby," Currin said.

Unraced since finishing seventh in the Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 7, Bashert has been working regularly since mid-November. He emerged from the Del Mar Futurity with a slight injury and was given a clean bill of health after being examined by several veterinarians, Currin said.

"I'm happy with the horse, but I need more time," he said. "I gave him too much time out of fear."

Designed for Luck to get rest

Designed for Luck, scratched from the Hong Kong Mile last weekend after a minor injury surfaced in his right hind leg, will be given a break when he clears quarantine later this week, trainer Vladimir Cerin said.

The winner of the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile in 2004, Designed for Luck, 8, was withdrawn from the Hong Kong Mile in the days before the race. "He must have hit something," Cerin said. "He was jogging off."

The setback left Cerin with one starter in Hong Kong, Willow O Wisp, who finished ninth in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup.

- additional reporting by Jay Privman