10/03/2002 11:00PM

Insurance plan pushed


ARCADIA, Calif. - A proposed insurance program that would significantly reduce the costs that many trainers pay for workers' compensation insurance was presented to horsemen at Santa Anita on Friday.

According to a document circulated at Friday's meeting, a proposal from the American International Group has base rates of $31.28 per $100 of payroll and $73.28 per jockey mount. The rates are subject to discounts or increases depending on an individual trainer's experience.

The program could be in place as early as Nov. 1, according to Ed Halpern, the executive director of the California Thoroughbred Trainers.

Since March, when the last private insurance company left the market, trainers have paid higher rates for mandatory workers' compensation insurance through the government-backed State Fund.

State Fund currently charges trainers a base rate of $48 per

$100 of payroll and $105 per jockey mount. Those prices went into effect in July.

Halpern said it's vital to inform horsemen of the program and sign up as many people as possible in the next 10 days.

At Friday's meeting, trainers were asked to fill out a one-page questionnaire about the size of their operations and past insurance data.

"It comes down to how many people we get involved in the program," Halpern said. "The brokers involved tell me we have enough people. We should see over the next 10 days if we have a problem."

The proposed insurance program received a major boost last week when California Gov. Gray Davis signed legislation that allowed money previously directed to a stabling and vanning fund and a marketing committee to be used to launch an insurance program.

Summer Wind Dancer takes stakes

Summer Wind Dancer is bound for the $125,000 California Cup Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 2 following her first stakes win in Thursday's $81,975 Cover Gal Stakes at Oak Tree at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Gary Stevens, Summer Wind Dancer rallied from fifth on the final turn to win by three-quarters of a length, finishing seven furlongs in 1:22.98.

"She was really looking around through the stretch, and wasn't really laying her body down," Stevens said. "It was a really good trip, and she's going to be a nice filly."

Miss Nicolie finished second. She won the Generous Portion Stakes at Del Mar in which Summer Wind Dancer was a troubled third. Small Town Girl, who was fifth in the Generous Portion Stakes, finished third in the Cover Gal, which was restricted to statebred fillies.

Summer Wind Dancer is owned by Linda Vetter and Richard and Yvette Wira, who bred the filly. Summer Wind Dancer was making her third start in the Cover Gal Stakes, having won a maiden race for statebreds at Del Mar in her debut in early August.

"I told Gary to save something for the end," trainer Jenine Sahadi said. "She's still very green. She has a lot of learning to do. We've had to do some work at the gate because she's not willing to be in there too long."

Came Home gets in Classic work

Came Home, the winner of six stakes this year, remains on course for the Breeders' Cup Classic following a seven-furlong workout in 1:24.80 on Friday at Santa Anita. Ridden by jockey Mike Smith, Came Home worked the first half-mile in 47.66 seconds and finished the final three furlongs in 37.14 seconds.

"He went very good, probably a little faster than I wanted," said trainer Paco Gonzalez. "The track has been pretty fast."

After Came Home beat older horses in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar in August, the decision was made by the four-person partnership that owns him to pass Sunday's Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap and point for the Breeders' Cup Classic.

"It would have been a little close," Gonzalez said of the Goodwood. "He's training better than I've ever seen. I wish the Breeders' Cup was this weekend."

Georgia's Storm dead

Georgia's Storm, the winner of the Grade 3 Landaluce Stakes at Hollywood Park in 2001, died recently as a result of head injuries, trainer Eduardo Inda said.

Inda said Georgia's Storm was at a farm near Palm Springs, Calif., when the injury occurred in mid-September.

Georgia's Storm did not start this year as a 3-year-old because of injury. She won three of five starts and $185,085.

Hollywood work times remain slow

Good Journey, the winner of the Atto Mile at Woodbine and a leading candidate for the Breeders' Cup Mile, worked five furlongs in 1:03 at Hollywood Park on Friday.

Inesperado, the winner of the Del Mar Derby on Sept. 7, worked six furlongs in 1:15.40. Trained by Bobby Frankel, Inesperado is being pointed for the $150,000 Oak Tree Derby on Oct. 13.

While those times may seem slow, workout times at Hollywood Park have not been fast since the main track underwent a major renovation in late September.