09/28/2007 12:00AM

John makes move from Chicago

EmailMIAMI - Kerwin John became the newest member of the local jockey colony, moving his tack to south Florida following the recent conclusion of the Arlington Park meet.

John, 32, a native of the Virgin Islands, had been a staple on the Southern California circuit for the past several years. But after health issues with his daughters Kwanisha, 7, and Keyshawna, 2, interrupted his career on a couple of occasions last fall and again this spring, John began looking for a change.

John's career has taken several unusual twists since he first came to the United States in 1993. After having little success for nearly a decade on a number of minor circuits, John made the seemingly bizarre move of heading to California to join one of the deepest jockey colonies in the country during fall 2003.

But instead of struggling competing against riders like Kent Desormeaux, Tyler Baze, Victor Espinoza, Alex Solis, and David Flores, John's fortunes changed dramatically. John won purses totaling more than $2 million in 2004, more money than his mounts had made in his 10 previous seasons in the country. He also rode in three of the eight Breeders' Cup races that year, finishing fifth on Island Fashion in the Distaff, 10th aboard Culture Clash in the Juvenile Fillies, and 14th with Domestic Dispute in the Mile.

John will ride first call locally for trainer Peter Walder, who also returned to the area following the conclusion of the Arlington meet earlier this month. The pair will team up for the first time at Calder with Exclusive Hopper, who brings a three-race win streak into Sunday's first race.

Jockey agent Cory Moran will handle John's engagements along with those of apprentice Junior Alvarado.

Shane Jules tops optional claimer

Shane Jules figures to go postward a slight favorite over Kopper Kilgoar, Sir Silver Fox, and Machismo in Sunday's $28,000 allowance feature. The second-level optional claiming race will be run at six furlongs.

Shane Jules, claimed for $25,000 on May 24, comes off a game nose decision over Eternal Look under similar conditions on Aug. 20. A son of Jules who is trained by leading trainer Kirk Ziadie, Shane Jules remains eligible for the race since he is entered under a $25,000 price tag.

Kopper Kilgoar finished third, beaten less than two lengths, after contesting the pace for nearly the entire trip with Shane Jules in the pair's previous encounter.

Sir Silver Fox finished a troubled second here two weeks ago following a summer stay at Saratoga. Machismo returns to the main track after setting a rapid pace and fading to third in a recent five-furlong dash on the grass.

Wild Nature and Classic Moon complete the lineup.