12/30/2006 1:00AM

Injured Valenzuela nears return


ARCADIA, Calif. - Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who has not ridden since Nov. 26 because of rib injuries suffered in a paddock accident, is gearing for a return to riding at Santa Anita on Jan. 10, according to his agent, Jim Pegram.

Valenzuela received doctor's clearance to begin exercising horses on Thursday, Pegram said. He was expected to begin riding in the mornings over the weekend, Pegram said.

"He wants to get fit and he's anxious to get back into action," Pegram said.

Valenzuela suffered three fractured ribs when he was kicked in the paddock before the fifth race at Hollywood Park on Nov. 26. At the time, Valenzuela was tied for third in the standings of the Hollywood Park fall meeting with 14 wins.

Valenzuela had hoped to be ready for opening day of the Santa Anita meet on Dec. 26, but the ribs needed more time to heal. In December, Pegram said he thought Valenzuela would be ready in early January.

Foxysox skips La Brea

Foxysox, the winner of the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park last month, was withdrawn from Saturday's Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita on race morning because of a bruised foot, trainer Carla Gaines said.

Gaines said the injury occurred after Foxysox was transferred from Hollywood Park to Santa Anita to complete preparation for Saturday's race. "Her foot was pulsing and it was hot," Gaines said Friday afternoon. "It will take a few days to work it out."

Gaines said that Foxysox could return for the $150,000 El Encino Stakes for 4-year-old fillies over 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 14. Owned by Warren Williamson, Foxysox has won 5 of 14 starts and $448,254.

Swiss Diva staying vs. Cal-breds

Swiss Diva remained unbeaten after three starts with a convincing victory in Friday's $138,750 California Breeders' Champion Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. But her 8o1/2-length win over California-breds has not convinced trainer Paddy Gallagher to leave the comfort of the statebred division.

Ridden by Agapito Delgadillo, Swiss Diva was always near the front, pulled clear from Double Major on the turn, and was not challenged late. Swiss Diva ($7) ran seven furlongs in 1:23.10.

Prenuptial rallied from seventh to finish second, a half-length in front of Pokomoke in the field of eight. Double Major, the 2-1 favorite, faded to finish fourth.

Swiss Diva was making her stakes debut on Friday. Owned by breeders Rick and Sharon Waller, Swiss Diva won a $40,000 claiming race for statebred maiden fillies in October and a starter allowance at Hollywood Park on Nov. 23. She has earned $111,810.

"She really went about her business," Gallagher said. "We'll just try and space her races and keep her with Cal-breds."

One possibility is the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Oaks for California-breds and Florida-breds over six furlongs here on Jan. 27.

Technology glitch delays payout

A malfunction in the Internet telephone system that provides tote information from other betting sites prevented Santa Anita from announcing the results of Friday's pick six until Friday evening, track officials said.

The $2 pick six returned $249,178 to two ticketholders, while the consolation tickets with five winners returned $912.40.

Santa Anita general manager George Haines said that 31 of the track's 80 import locations were not able to communicate betting information with the track's tote system. He said the problem began in the middle of the afternoon, after the initial data from the pick six, including betting combinations and handle, had already been transmitted.

Haines said it was unclear how much handle was lost because of the telecommunications problems. He said the betting network within the state of California was not affected.

Riders survive spill unscathed

Jockeys David Cohen and Clinton Potts escaped injury following a two-horse spill in Friday's eighth race, a one-mile maiden race for 2-year-old fillies.

On the final turn, Potts's mount, 63-1 Western Matriarch, clipped heels with a rival and fell. Cohen, riding 14-1 Polo Lounge, swerved to avoid the fallen horse and rider but was unable to stay aboard his mount.

The stewards conducted an inquiry but did not change the order of finish. The accident affected Broad Try, Pink Polkadots, Saint Chi Chi, and Union Camp, who were forced to take up to avoid the accident.