12/16/2003 1:00AM

Injured Krone to miss ride on Victory U. S. A.

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ARCADIA, Calif. - Julie Krone has possible fractures of ribs and her sternum, and has severe soft tissue damage, her orthopedic surgeon said on Tuesday. The injuries will prevent Krone from riding this weekend at Hollywood Park, and jeopardizes her status for the Dec. 26 opening day of Santa Anita's winter meeting.

Krone, 40, was injured in an accident on Friday at Hollywood Park. The Hall of Fame rider visited on Tuesday with Dr. Tom Harris, a Del Mar, Calif.-based orthopedic surgeon who evaluated X-rays and an MRI scan conducted Monday.

"She has sustained severe soft tissue damage accompanied by a lot of inflammation, which means it is very painful," Harris said. "She has separated ribs both front and back. There is also a possibility that there are fractures of a rib or ribs, and of the sternum. We will do a CT scan as soon as possible to determine that. Fortunately, there are no serious injuries of a long-term effect."

Krone said she would not ride the remainder of the Hollywood Park meet, which ends Sunday. She added that her status for the opening of Santa Anita would be determined after further evaluation of her condition early next week.

Krone's absence means that David Flores will ride probable favorite Victory U. S. A. in Sunday's Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet. Krone rode Victory U. S. A. when she won last month's Moccasin Stakes.

Victory U. S. A., trained by Bob Baffert, completed her preparation for the Starlet on Tuesday with a half-mile drill in 47.40 seconds at Santa Anita under exercise rider Dana Barnes. The time was the best of 27 at the distance.

"Tommy boy will be very excited," Baffert said, referring to owner Tom VanMeter. "She's ready."

Victory U. S. A.'s rivals in the Starlet are expected to include A.P. Adventure, Dixie High, Hollywood Story, House of Fortune, Rahy Dolly, and Rings and Things.

Agent Cosato adds Nakatani

Nick Cosato, the jockey agent who has represented Patrick Valenzuela since that rider's return two years ago, will also book mounts for Corey Nakatani when Santa Anita's meeting begins on Dec. 26, Cosato said Tuesday. Nakatani had been represented by Scotty McClellan, who continues to work for long-time client Alex Solis.

Cosato said that Valenzuela, who missed all of last week's races complaining of flu, was expected to return to action on Wednesday. According to Cosato, Valenzuela was ordered by the California Horse Racing Board to visit a doctor in the San Diego area on Monday while visiting his wife, who during the week lives in the Del Mar area with her child from a previous marriage.

Cosato did not know if Valenzuela was required to take a drug test while in San Diego on Monday, but said he was certain the CHRB would have Valenzuela take a test at the track before being allowed to resume riding.

Because of his checkered past, Valenzuela was issued a jockey's license only after agreeing to submit to random drug tests at any time.

Fogelsonger, Nuesch recovering

Jockey Ryan Fogelsonger, who injured his right shoulder in an accident on Friday, is being evaluated to see if he needs surgery, according to his agent, Michelle Barsotti.

"They want to see if he had muscle tear away from the bone," Barsotti said. "If it did, he might need surgery. If he doesn't need surgery, he'll ride this weekend. He's not riding Thursday."

David Nuesch, who was shaken up in the same accident in which Krone was injured, worked a horse at Santa Anita on Tuesday but said he would not ride again until Friday.

Pleasantly Perfect loosens up

Pleasantly Perfect, the upset winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic, worked an easy half-mile in 52 seconds on Tuesday at Santa Anita for trainer Richard Mandella, who said Pleasantly Perfect would not return to action until the San Antonio Handicap on Jan. 31 at Santa Anita.

The Mandella-trained Redattore, who won the Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park last month, worked a sharp five furlongs in 1:00.20 in preparation for Santa Anita's San Gabriel Handicap on Dec. 28.

Baffert sent the comebacking Sarava through a half-mile workout in 47.60 seconds. Sarava has raced just once since his victory in the 2002 Belmont Stakes, when he was trained by Ken McPeek. Another Baffert returnee, the 3-year-old filly Santa Catarina, worked a half-mile in 47.80 seconds.

Royally Chosen, winner of the California Cup Matron, worked seven furlongs in 1:28.40 for trainer Bruce Headley.

Over at Hollywood Park, Betty's Wish worked five furlongs in 1:01 for trainer Bobby Frankel in preparation for Saturday's Grade 2 Dahlia Handicap on the turf.

Frankel also worked the top filly Sightseek a half-mile in 49 seconds.

Ten Most Wanted, the Travers Stakes winner who has been off since the Breeders' Cup Classic, worked three furlongs in 36.20 seconds for trainer Wally Dollase.