Updated on 09/16/2011 8:11AM

Full Moon Madness has Marshall back


ARCADIA, Calif. - Friday's $100,000 Valiant Pete Handicap at Santa Anita is a comeback for Full Moon Madness, rested after a year-long layoff. The same can be said about his trainer, Robert Marshall.

When Full Moon Madness went to the sidelines last spring, Marshall decided to also take a break. The 57-year-old trainer turned over his horses to assistant Ruben Cardenas and hit the road.

Marshall said he needed the time off to renew his interest in the sport. He spent time in Oregon and British Columbia - "Needless to say, I did a lot of salmon fishing there," he said - and in Idaho, Utah, and Wisconsin, where he fished for trout and went sightseeing.

"I had a plan to go to France, but Sept. 11 put an end to that," he said. "I'm sure glad I did what I did. Life goes by too quick."

Marshall is best known as the trainer of Latin American, the winner of the 1993 Californian Stakes at Hollywood Park. Latin American stands at Hanson Stock Farm in California and is an integral part of Marshall's breeding program.

Full Moon Madness is the best sprinter Marshall has trained. A 7-year-old gelding, Full Moon Madness has won 11 of 31 starts and $769,540. The Valiant Pete will be his first start since he finished second in the 2001 running and could be the end of a five-race losing streak for Full Moon Madness dating back to the 2000 California Cup Sprint.

"He was getting raggedy," Marshall said. "He had a long campaign and in his last four races I thought his confidence was down. We turned him out, and the last time we did that it was worth giving him a break."

Marshall said he is not seeking to train many horses.

"I'll probably train this horse and my own horses," he said. "The horse business is always in your blood."

New weight clause for invitationals

The weights issued last weekend for Sunday's $400,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap will not be final until entries are taken on Friday.

The racing office at Santa Anita has added a clause to the conditions of this year's San Juan Capistrano that reads, in part, "Santa Anita reserves the right to assign or reassign weight to any horse prior to time of entry."

Typically, weight assignments are not changed between the time they are published and entries are drawn.

The same condition was in place for the $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap for fillies and mares on March 10.

Mike Harlow, the director of racing and racing secretary at Santa Anita, said the clause was added in the event provisional invitations were issued or in the event an invitee needed to be reassessed. He said Speedy Pick, who was assigned 112 pounds, is the only horse to be given a provisional invitation for Sunday's race.

"We left it open in case an out-of-towner or anyone made a late decision," Harlow said. "That way we can make an invitation and assign weights.

"There is everything in here from stakes horses to claimers," Harlow said, scanning the list of nominees. "It's a hodgepodge."

Weights were issued for 17 horses, ranging from Continental Red at 117 pounds to Dispersed Reward at 108 pounds. Both are probable along with Cagney, Chelsea Barracks, Keemoon, Ringaskiddy, Speedy Pick, and Staging Post.

Queenie Belle retired with injury

Queenie Belle, who won three stakes in a 22-race career, has been retired because of a muscle strain in her back, trainer Ben Cecil said on Wednesday.

The 5-year-old Queenie Belle will be shipped to Kentucky on Friday where she is scheduled to be bred to 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, Cecil said.

Owned by Gary Seidler, Queenie Belle won six of 22 starts and $624,790. At 3, she won the Grade 2 Princess Stakes and California Cup Matron. Last year, she won the Grade 2 Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap in September, the final win of her career. In her final start, she finished fifth in the Grade 1 Santa Maria Handicap on Feb. 17 at Santa Anita, losing by seven lengths to Favorite Funtime.

"She strained a muscle behind," Cecil said. "We gave it a month. When she came off the track a few days ago, she wasn't quite right."

Cecil said Queenie Belle would have needed a considerable break to recover from the injury.

"We wouldn't have gotten her back until Del Mar," he said. "She'll leave a big hole in the barn."

A winner for Indian Charlie

Indian Charlie, the winner of the 1998 Santa Anita Derby, was represented by his first winner at stud when Forthelifeofme won a two-furlong dash for 2-year-old maiden fillies at Santa Anita on Wednesday.

Forthelifeofme was timed in 22.08 seconds, wearing down Ruth's Match Trick to score by a head. Trained by Bruce Headley, Forthelifeofme is owned by Garvin Kelly and Nancy Yearsley.

Indian Charlie, who was third in the 1998 Kentucky Derby, won four of five starts and $616,120. He stands at Vinery in Lexington, Ky.

Solis ban shifted

Santa Anita stewards issued an amended ruling on Wednesday for a three-day suspension given jockey Alex Solis last weekend. The original ruling covered Wednesday through Friday, but the amended ruling covers Thursday through Saturday.

The leading rider at this meeting, Solis was cited for altering course without sufficient clearance in the fourth race last Saturday. His mount, Go for Greed, was disqualified from second to fourth.

According to steward Tom Ward, Solis met with the stewards to discuss the incident after Sunday's entries were drawn. Solis did not ride at Santa Anita on Wednesday, but was at Keeneland.