09/26/2002 11:00PM

Injured Delahoussaye out for at least three months

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ARCADIA, Calif. - Jockey Eddie Delahoussaye on Friday said that he has been informed by doctors that he will be unfit to ride for the remainder of the year because of the lingering effects of injuries suffered in a spill at Del Mar on Aug. 30.

Delahoussaye visited Santa Anita on Friday, but instead of lining up mounts for the opening day of the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting on Wednesday, he informed well-wishers that he will be out for at least three months.

Delahoussaye, 51, suffered injuries to his neck, left hip, and a foot after being thrown from Seeingisbelieving during a turf race at Del Mar. Although X-rays proved negative, Delahoussaye has not ridden since the accident. He said he been suffering from headaches in recent weeks.

In coming days, he will begin therapy for his neck, which he says has been a concern.

"I'll be out for at least three months, hopefully no longer," he said. "The neck and the head are what they're concerned with. I had a concussion and it was my fifth concussion. That's a concern. I don't heal like I used to."

The injury put Delahoussaye on the sidelines during a successful Del Mar meeting. He won four races worth $100,000 or more, including the $400,000 Ramona Handicap with Affluent on July 27.

Earlier this year, Delahoussaye he was considering retiring at the end of this year. On Friday, he said he would like to make a comeback when he becomes healthy.

"If I can come back, I'll come back," he said.

Many stars will run opening week

The first week of the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita is highlighted by eight stakes designed as preps for the World Thoroughbred Championships at Arlington Park on Oct. 26.

Even without notable Southern California-based horses such as Came Home, Disturbingthepeace, Farda Amiga, Good Journey, Kona Gold, and War Emblem - all of whom are being trained up to the Breeders' Cup races - many of the prep races are expected to have strong fields.

The stakes program begins on Wednesday's opening day when Azeri, a strong favorite for the Breeders' Cup Distaff, will attempt to win her sixth consecutive race in the $200,000 Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap over 1 1/16 miles.

The challengers include Adoration, Elaine's Angel, Erica's Smile, Netherland, Mystic Lady, and Starrer.

There are four major stakes on Saturday and three on the Sunday, Oct. 6, program.

The top race on Saturday is the $500,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes for fillies and mares over 1 1/4 miles on turf. Banks Hill, the champion turf female of 2001, is expected to start if she is withdrawn from this weekend's Flower Bowl Handicap at Belmont Park because of wet conditions.

Banks Hill, who has never started in California, would face Canzone, Golden Apples, Nepenthe, and Noches de Rosa.

Saturday's $250,000 Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile on turf has produced the last three winners of the Breeders' Cup Mile - Silic (1999), War Chant (2000), and Val Royal (2001). This year's field will include Congaree, D'wildcat, Nicobar, Night Patrol, and Zanapour.

Trainer Julio Canani said that Special Ring, the winner of the Wickerr Handicap at Del Mar, will miss the race due to a sesamoid injury that will keep him out of training for 90 days.

The $200,000 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap over six furlongs Saturday includes defending champion Swept Overboard who will face Avanzado, Crafty C.T., I Love Silver, Kalookan Queen, Mellow Fellow, and Rio Oro.

The $200,000 Norfolk Stakes for 2-year-olds over 1 1/16 miles Saturday will include Bull Market, Listen Indy, Man Among Men, Mr. Technique, and Royal Siphon.

Trainer Bob Baffert said that Chief Planner, who placed in three sprint stakes during the summer, is out for 60 days with a shin injury.

Goodwood looks wide open

In the last two years, Tiznow started in the $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap and went on to win the Breeders' Cup Classic.

This year's Goodwood field on Oct. 6 is more wide open, featuring Euchre, Grey Memo, Kela, Like a Hero, Momentum, Pleasantly Perfect, and Truly a Judge. None of them won a graded stakes in their last start.

Momentum, second to Came Home in the Pacific Classic on Aug. 25, will be ridden by Corey Nakatani.

Also Oct. 6, the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship is run over 1 1/4 miles on turf and is a prep to the Breeders' Cup Turf. Sarafan, second in the Arlington Million, will be joined by Hawkeye, Mister Kybelee, Nazirali, Skipping, and The Tin Man.

The Oak Leaf Stakes for 2-year-old fillies Oct. 6 will have a small field led by the impressive maiden winner Composure and Heart ofa Champion, an allowance race winner on turf at Belmont Park in mid-September.

Baffert, who trains Composure, said that Santa Catarina, the runner-up in the Del Mar Debutante, will prep for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies in the Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 5.