07/27/2005 12:00AM

Injured trainer struggling to get by


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Larry Walters, who had been running trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.'s Monmouth Park division, is sidelined with neurological injuries suffered in a fall at a nearby resort.

Walters doesn't know when, or if, he can resume working.

"I guess things could always be worse," he said. "Some of these things clear up over time. In the meantime, I have nobody funding me. I got children to feed and I've got rent that's due.

"The racetrack is my home and that's gone. I don't have a home. It's pretty bad."

Walters is pursuing legal and disability claims as a result of the accident, which happened over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

According to Walters, he slipped and fell on a lobby floor that had just been mopped and waxed.

Walters struck his head and now suffers numbness on the right side of his body.

"From the right hip down to the right knee, any pressure makes it feel like you've been branded," said Walters, who last worked on July 15.

This has been an eventful summer for Walters. He has met with investigators for the New Jersey Racing Commission probing the whereabouts of the Dutrow-trained Wild Desert prior to the colt's victory in the Queen's Plate at Woodbine. Wild Desert had a published work at Monmouth before the race but track officials have no record of the horse entering or leaving the grounds. The investigation is ongoing.

Spring House to stay home for Lamplighter

After two trips out of town by Spring House, trainer John Hennig will probably keep the horse at Monmouth for the $100,000 Lamplighter Stakes for 3-year-olds on the turf on Aug. 7.

Spring House was a rallying second in Monmouth's Jersey Derby on May 30. The colt then hit the road for two Grade 3 stakes, the Kent Breeders' Cup at Delaware Park and the Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs. He was disqualified from second to third for interference in the stretch in the Kent and was no factor on a yielding course in the Virginia Derby.

Jockey Gary Stevens told Hennig that Spring House didn't like the soft going in the Virginia Derby.

"He has run well over this racetrack," Hennig said.

Trainer Harry Jones dies suddenly

Trainer Harry Jones, husband of Monmouth paddock judge Evelyn "Cookie" Jones, died suddenly Saturday at Philadelphia Park. He was 58.

Jones was galloping horses that morning for trainer Marty Ciresa. He was about to take one to the track when he passed out and fell from the mount. Efforts by emergency personnel to revive him failed.

"He was as honest a guy as you will ever meet on a racetrack," said trainer Alan Seewald, who employed Jones as an assistant from the mid-1980's through the early 1990's. "He was loyal and a hard worker. More importantly, he was a good person."

Ryerson chasing back-to-back Tyro wins

Monmouth has three stakes over the weekend, the $60,000 Tyro and the $55,000 Klassy Briefcase on Saturday and the $55,000 Trenton Stakes Sunday.

The 5 1/2-furlong Tyro is the traditional prep for the Grade 3, $150,000 Sapling Stakes on Aug. 20, Monmouth's top race for 2-year-olds.

Trainer Jim Ryerson won last year's Tyro with Park Avenue Ball, a leading contender for Monmouth's $1 million Haskell Invitational on Aug. 7.

Ryerson goes for another Tyro with The Village Vicar, who won his maiden last time out. "It's a good spot to find out what you have," he said.

Cigno d'Oro vs. Brown Eyed Miss

Cigno d'Oro, a stakes-winning New Jersey-bred, returns to open company Friday in the $41,000 featured allowance race at 1 1/16 miles.

Cigno d'Oro won the statebred Spruce Fir Handicap, earning a 78 Beyer Speed Figure, the best last-race figure in this field.

Brown Eyed Miss also won her most recent race, a pacesetting 7 1/4-length romp in a Monmouth sprint.

* The Monmouth stewards found Stewart Elliott, second leading rider at the meet behind the injured Joe Bravo, blameless for his mount's role in the sequence of events on Sunday that led to Alan Garcia suffering a broken collarbone when his horse clipped heels and fell in the fourth race.

* Lord Starson ($112.80) lit up the toteboard in the first race Wednesday. The 3-year-old won his maiden in his 15th attempt, with Joe Rocco replacing Garcia in the irons.