01/10/2005 12:00AM

Fong closer to home after riding Chicago

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Jeff Coady/Coady Photography
Texcess, winner of the $1 million Delta Jackpot, looks likely for Saturday's $100,000 Golden Gate Derby.

ALBANY, Calif. - Apprentice Freddy Fong Jr., the newest addition to the local jockey colony, didn't waste much time making his presence felt.

Fong won on his second mount here, guiding Outraged to an eight-length victory over favored Tiz Showtime on Saturday. Fong, a 20-year-old Arcadia, Calif., native who grew up within hailing distance of Santa Anita, rode for the first time here Friday.

"I have an uncle [Herbie Valdevioso] who's an ex-jock and exercise rider. Growing up, my dad worked in the turf club at Hollywood Park and Santa Anita and would take me to the races," Fong said. "I'd watch the jockeys, and, like every little kid, I wanted to be a jockey."

Fong's father introduced him to former jockey Jose Corrales, now a Southern California trainer, and Corrales worked with Fong for six months. Fong then went to West Virginia, where he worked for six months galloping horses before heading to Florida to spend six months as an exercise rider with Valdevioso.

"I got my start riding at Calder on April 26, 2004," Fong said. "My first win was on Coppers 'n' Brass at Arlington on July 31."

Fong earned 34 victories at Chicago-area tracks. When the Hawthorne meet concluded on Jan. 2, Fong thought about going to New York or Turf Paradise but decided on northern California, where Roger Olguin will be his agent.

"Roger is a friend of [jockey] Modesto Linares, who is a friend of my father," Fong said. "Roger said there would be an opening for an apprentice up here. I'll see how things go. I only have 8 1/2 months left with my bug. I have to use that time wisely."

As with many young riders, Fong has enjoyed his best success with front-running types. But he knows that the best riders can win from anywhere on the track.

"I want to learn to come from behind, how to get past horses in the stretch," he said. "I've been watching lots of races. I have to learn how to stay out of trouble and get good position."

Alissa's Atm bred to stretch out

Six 3-year-old fillies meet in Wednesday's Golden Gate Fields feature, a $40,000 starter allowance at a mile. Only one of the six, Sunny Flight, has won above the bottom level of the maiden claiming ranks.

Trainer Angelo Tekos Jr. may have the filly to beat in Alissa's Atm, who won her debut for a $12,500 tag on Oct. 13. She has run twice since then at the $40,000 starter allowance level, finishing third and fourth in a pair of six-furlong sprints.

Tekos can't ask too much from her in works because she is a light-bodied filly, and has needed the three sprints to help build her stamina. However, Tekos said he has been looking forward to trying Alissa's Atm around two turns.

"I passed a sprint for this," he said.

Several rivals have two-turn experience, and Tekos concedes that they will have an edge. But the breeding of Alissa's Atm, by Mr Purple out of the Travelling Victor mare Bright and Beyond, indicates a mile should be a good distance for her.

"It looks like there's some speed in there," Tekos said, pointing to Cali Randi, Im Really Shining, and Sunny Flight. "She relaxes nicely, and her natural speed should give her a good trip."

Texcess may come up for derby

Texcess, who has won three of four starts including the $1 million Delta Jackpot, seems likely to run here in Saturday's $100,000 Golden Gate Derby.

Trainer Paul Aguirre, a co-owner of the gelding, has told Golden Gate Fields officials that he is leaning toward shipping his star north from Hollywood Park.

Trainer Doug O'Neill plans to enter Gold Rush Stakes winner Dover Dere, and Iggy Puglisi will ride. Buzzards Bay, an even fourth in his first start at Hollywood Park after he won his maiden in his third career start at Calder, will represent trainer Jeff Mullins. Mark Guidry is listed to ride.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer will enter recent maiden turf winner Sharp Writer, who has a pair of seconds and a third in addition to his victory since being stretched out around two turns.

Also considered possible are Quiet Money, Salty Humor, and Scipion, and Chips Are Down or Devil's Bay may run for trainer Bob Baffert.

Ten nominated to Richmond

Ten older fillies and mares were nominated to the $50,000 Richmond Handicap at six furlongs on Monday's Martin Luther King holiday card.

Stakes winners Hippogator, Lyin Goddess, Our Mango, Pheiffer, and Yerevan Star are among the nominees, along with the sharp Vaca City Flyer, who has won six of her past eight starts. Also nominated is Aisle Light, 2 for 2 at this meeting since her return to the races after running third behind stakes-winning Marwood in her debut in December 2003.