02/09/2004 1:00AM

Fogelsonger going home

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ARCADIA, Calif. - Jockey Ryan Fogelsonger is going home. Five months after arriving in California, he announced last weekend he will return to Maryland, where his success earned him the 2002 Eclipse Award as outstanding apprentice. Fogelsonger won two races from 39 mounts at the Santa Anita meet, but business stalled after he was injured Dec. 12 and sidelined until Jan. 16.

"I was thinking about [going back] even before the injury," Fogelsonger said. "Then the injury happened, and I decided not to think about anything until I started riding again. Coming off an injury, it's hard to rebuild your business. It'll be a lot easier to rebuild [in Maryland] than to rebuild out here."

Fogelsonger planned to leave Thursday and ride Saturday at Laurel.

Fogelsonger had his best meet in California at the fall Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita, winning 18 races, including the $175,000 California Cup Mile and $100,000 Cal Cup Distance Handicap. "I'm 22, I have plenty of career ahead of me," he said.