12/29/2008 1:00AM

Gomez back fast after spill


ARCADIA, Calif. - Garrett Gomez, who will finish the year as the nation's leading jockey in purse earnings, returned to riding on Monday two days after being injured in a one-horse spill at Santa Anita.

Gomez won with his first mount of the day, Suit Yourself in the third race.

Saturday, Gomez was unseated from Back at You when the 2-year-old attempted to jump the rail in the stretch of the Eddie Logan Stakes. Gomez suffered broken teeth, a gash on his knee, and a swollen hand. He was briefly hospitalized, but was released that evening.

Late Saturday, Gomez told agent Ron Anderson that he would not be sidelined for long.

"He told me leaving the hospital, 'I'll be ready in a couple of days,' " Anderson said.

Gomez, who won the Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding jockey of 2007, did not ride at Santa Anita on Sunday. He underwent cosmetic dental surgery, Anderson said.

Through Sunday, Gomez led the nation's riders with $23,246,319 in North American earnings this year, just shy of the alltime record of $23,354,960 set by Jerry Bailey in 2003. Robby Albarado, Gomez's closest pursuer, had more than $17.7 million in earnings.

Back at You needed stitches to close a wound on his leg, but was otherwise not hurt in the accident, trainer Eddie Truman said. Truman speculated that Back at You reacted to shadows from the grandstand that covered the turf course, having raced in sunshine on the backstretch and final turn.

Truman said that Back at You would need a "couple of weeks" of rest before resuming training.

Indyanne expected to recover

Indyanne, who was pulled up in the stretch of Saturday's Grade 1 Santa Monica Handicap with a sesamoid injury, will not require surgery and could be sent to Kentucky in early January to be bred, trainer Greg Gilchrist said on Monday.

"She seems to be pretty comfortable and doing well," Gilchrist said. "There is reason for a lot of optimism."

Indyanne was fighting for the lead when she broke down. Gilchrist said the 3-year-old filly did not suffer injuries as severe as originally thought, which negated the need for surgery. Gilchrist praised quick thinking by jockey Russell Baze for getting Indyanne to stop before she suffered more serious injuries.

"Russell Baze had a lot do with it, getting her stopped when he did," Gilchrist said.

In the moments after the race, Gilchrist feared the injury was too grave to save Indyanne, but X-rays revealed that Indyanne had injured one of the two sesamoids in her left foreleg.

"The sesamoid ligaments that attach were in good shape - all of that helped." Gilchrist said. "The surgery would not be in her best interest. If we can get by without that, we'll be out of the woods. We're not there yet."

Indyanne won 5 of 8 starts and three stakes to earn $449,870 for owner John Sikura. She won two Grade 3 stakes earlier this year - the Azalea Stakes at Calder and the TCA Stakes at Keeneland.

Two stakes winners target Las Virgenes

Navigator and Saucey Evening, stakes winners over the weekend, are both on course to start in the $300,000 Las Virgenes Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile on Feb. 7.

Navigator won her stakes debut in Sunday's $78,600 Blue Norther Stakes at a mile on turf. Navigator led throughout, set her own pace, and won by a length over April Pride under jockey Victor Espinoza. Navigator's only previous win was a six-furlong maiden race at Hollywood Park on Nov. 16.

"We were hoping she'd run like she did," trainer Ron Ellis said. "This will help her. She's still learning."

Navigator races for Mace and Samantha Siegel.

Saucey Evening won the fillies division of the $125,000 California Breeders' Champion Stakes for state-breds on Saturday, closing from last in a field of seven to win by 2 1/2 lengths.

The seven-furlong race was Saucey Evening's second stakes win. She won the California Cup Juvenile Fillies here in October. She later finished fourth in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf on Oct. 24.

Trainer Graham Motion said he prefers the Las Virgenes to the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Oaks for California-breds and Florida-breds at six furlongs on Jan. 24 to avoid reducing Saucey Evening's racing distances.

"I think three-quarters will be awful short for her," he said. "It's tempting for the money to try it, but I think the prudent thing is to run in the Grade 1 race. I think she's earned another shot back in graded company."

Earlier this year, Saucey Evening finished seventh in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante behind Stardom Bound.

Motion is based primarily in Florida this year. He has 10 horses in California this winter, and said that could be expanded, and possibly made a year-round arrangement, in 2009. Motion said his clients have been encouraged by the condition of Santa Anita's Pro-Ride synthetic surface.

"I think my owners are a little more receptive with the way the racetrack has been," he said. "To get off to a good start is encouraging. I have plans to bring some others in over the course of the meeting. It's possible I might do a year-round thing. I'm entertaining the thought."

Navigator and Saucey Evening could be on course to meet division leader Stardom Bound, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies here on Oct. 24. She worked a half-mile in 47.20 seconds on Sunday. Trainer Bobby Frankel said Monday that Stardom Bound is likely to start in the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks on March 7.

Three-year-old Into Mischief retired

Into Mischief made the final start of his career when he finished second to Bob Black Jack in the $250,000 Malibu Stakes on Friday. Owner B. Wayne Hughes on Sunday said that Into Mischief will be sent to his farm in Kentucky early next month and will begin stud duty in February.

Hughes admitted that he had second thoughts about retiring Into Mischief, but had made commitments to breeders.

"I made so many promises to breeders that I've got myself stuck," he said.

Trained by Richard Mandella, Into Mischief, 3, ends his career with three wins in six starts and earnings of $597,080. Into Mischief won two stakes in his career - the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park in 2007 and the Damascus Stakes at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.

Sadler fined for Bute overage

Trainer John Sadler was fined $500 by Santa Anita stewards on Saturday after one of his horses tested in excess of the permitted level of the analgesic Bute during a workout on Oct. 30.

Tissy Fit worked five furlongs in 1:02.80 on Oct. 30. Tissy Fit was on the vet's list that day and underwent a routine drug test after the workout, which revealed the excessive level of Bute, a commonly used medication.

Tissy Fit finished second in the Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar in August and has not started since finishing fifth in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap on Aug. 23.

Tissy Fit has worked three times since Oct. 30, but has not raced since Aug. 23.