12/12/2001 12:00AM

Homeister and Alexia roar in Puerto Rico


MIAMI - The plane that brought jockey Rosemary Homeister back from Puerto Rico touched down in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday. But Homeister said she was still "floating on air" Wednesday because of her victory aboard Alexia in the Clasico Internacional del Caribe at El Comandante Racetrack on Sunday.

Homeister made history by becoming not only the first woman to ride in the Clasico del Caribe, but also the first woman to win the race, the most important of the year for the Caribbean Horse Racing Confederation. Alexia is the first filly to beat the boys in the prestigious event.

"I'm still on cloud nine," Homeister said minutes after guiding Silver Touch to victory in Wednesday's third race at Calder. "What an unbelievable experience I had, from the moment I stepped off the plane right through the winner's circle festivities, which must have lasted an hour. There had to be 100 people in the winner's circle including the president elect of Panama. It was just like winning the Kentucky Derby the way they treated me and celebrated our victory. It was definitely one of the highlights of my career."

Homeister rode Alexia for Stud Campo Azul and trainer Eric Gittens. The owners campaign horses at Calder with trainer Pepe Mendez and Homeister had ridden several winners for them locally. It was at their request that she was offered the mount in the Clasico.

"I can't express enough thanks to Alexia's owners, the people of Panama for allowing me to represent them in the Classic, and the representative of Puerto Rico and El Comandante for inviting me," said Homeister. "And what made the day even more special was the fact both my husband [jockey Jose Ferrer] and agent [Bernie Gonzalez] were there with me. Both of them are from Puerto Rico. Jose grew up only 30 minutes from El Comandante and he and his whole family were there to give me moral support."

Brereton sets record

Brereton set a track record on Wednesday when covering 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.45 en route to an easy victory under entry-level allowance conditions. Brereton, a 3-year-old Canadian invader trained by Phil England for owners Eugene and Laura Melnyk, was making just his third career start and first in this country. A son of Storm Creek, he brought $380,000 during the 2-year-old February sales.

Fappie's Notebook prepares for Noe

Fappie's Notebook breezed an easy half mile in 50.40 seconds on Wednesday in preparation for Saturday's $100,000 Kenny Noe Handicap. A stretch-running son of Notebook, Fappie's Notebook won both the Groomstick and Smile Sprint handicaps here earlier this season before shipping to Kentucky where he finished third in the Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap in his most recent start.

Fappie's Notebook will go start as the co-highweight in the seven-furlong Kenny Noe along with Dancing Guy and Kiss a Native. Kiss a Native will be making his first local appearance since winning the In Reality Division of the Florida Stallion Series more than two years ago. The trio will concede two pounds to Miners Gamble, an easy four-length winner of this race in 2000.