05/30/2002 11:00PM

Homeister feels like a winner in return


MIAMI - Rosemary Homeister had one second to show from her four mounts on Friday, but she was all smiles when she came back after her last ride, a sixth-place finish aboard Dinkers Bay in the seventh race.

"I'm just so happy to be back in action again, to see all my fans and my friends," said Homeister, who had been sidelined since

Feb. 28, when she broke an arm at the start of a race at Gulfstream Park. "It has been so frustrating being away, especially when I thought I would only be out seven weeks and then suffered another setback the first day I went back to the track after being released by my doctor."

Homeister has stayed fit by riding her bicycle and training on a wooden horse she keeps at her home.

"I felt great today," said Homeister, the 1992 Eclipse Award apprentice rider and the second-leading rider during the 2001 Calder meet. "My arm was fine. I was switching sticks and using it pretty hard. And while I'm not 100 percent fit, I'm pretty close."

Homeister did have one scary moment on Friday when her mount in the sixth race, the 2-year-old maiden filly Jenny's Search, stumbled leaving the starting gate.

"She over-reached a little bit leaving the gate and might have got her legs crossed, but fortunately I was able to straighten her out quickly," said Homeister.

Homeister said she plans to accept only three or four mounts for the first few days of her comeback.

"Luckily I don't think I've lost a lot of business by being away," said Homeister. "The response from trainers has been good and I could have ridden another horse on Friday but felt it would be best to take it slow at first. I don't want to overdo it. There's still a long year ahead, and there's no sense rushing things right off the bat."

Juvenile winners meet

The second winners' race for 2-year-olds at the meet highlights Sunday's 10-race program. A field of seven juveniles will go five furlongs for a $29,000 purse, led by Super Blitz and Lucky Magus, second and third behind Sweet Promises in Gulfstream Park's Valid Appeal Stakes on April 19.

Lucky Magus came back from the Valid Appeal and won a maiden race by neck here May 11. Supah Blitz finished fourth following a slow start in an allowance race here May 18.

Meanwhile, trainer Larry Pilotti reports that Sweet Promises returned to his barn at Calder this week after being given a brief freshening on a farm in Ocala. He is being pointed to the $100,000 Criterium Stakes on July 6, a race Pilotti won last year with Juggernaut.