12/19/2003 1:00AM

Krone's diagnosis: Two broken ribs


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone will be sidelined until January after a CT scan taken on Thursday showed fractures to two ribs in her upper chest. The fractures did not appear on X-rays taken after she was involved in a spill at Hollywood Park on Dec. 12.

The fractures occurred in her first two ribs, according to Dr. Tom Harris, an orthopedic surgeon based in Del Mar.

"Right now, the fractures and the soft tissue damage are causing the muscles to spasm, and she can't really move quickly," Harris said in a statement. "As far as recovery, it is matter of dealing with the soreness.

"She is improving, the fractures are healing well, and everything is in position. There's no dislocation of any joints we need to worry about, and I think she'll recover fully."

According to agent Brian Beach, Krone is hoping to return in early January. "We're looking at the second book," Beach said, referring to the condition book that covers races from Jan. 7-18.

Krone was injured in a two-horse spill on Dec. 12. At the time of the accident, she was the leading rider at the track's fall meeting.

Earlier this year, Krone missed more than four months with a back injury suffered when she was unseated after the start of a race at Santa Anita on March 8. She returned to ride at Del Mar, where she finished second in the jockey standings to Patrick Valenzuela and won the meeting's richest race, the $980,000 Pacific Classic, aboard Candy Ride.

This fall, Krone won her first Breeders' Cup race, aboard Halfbridled in the Juvenile Fillies.

Candy Ride cleared to resume training

Candy Ride has been pronounced fit to resume training after recently undergoing exploratory surgery to check for damage from a bout with colic in November.

Trainer Ron McAnally described the surgery as minor and precautionary. "They didn't remove anything," he said. "It was a minor incision for them to look.

"He's about to start back. He's been doing good for two or three weeks."

Owned by Sid and Jenny Craig, Candy Ride is unbeaten in six starts - three in Argentina and three in the United States. Last summer, he won twice at Hollywood Park, an allowance race on dirt and the Grade 2 American Handicap on turf.

Candy Ride is expected to run during the Santa Anita winter meeting, which begins on Friday, although McAnally has not named a specific race as a goal.

The top handicap race of the meeting is the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 6.

Posse to arrive Tuesday for Malibu

Posse, fourth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint on Oct. 25, is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday for Friday's $250,000 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita.

The Grade 1 Malibu Stakes is the top race on the opening day of the meeting.

Trained by Steve Asmussen for Bill Heiligbrodt and Vinery Stable, Posse has won 7 of 17 starts. He is booked to go to stud after the Malibu.

"This has been the target for some time," Asmussen said.

After losing by 4 3/4 lengths to Cajun Beat in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, Posse returned to win the Thanksgiving Handicap at six furlongs at Fair Grounds on Nov. 27, his fifth career stakes win.

"He ran a good race in the Breeders' Cup, and he's had a chance to get back to the winner's circle," Asmussen said.

As of Friday, there were 14 probables for the Malibu, including Baltic Heights, Blazonry, Buddy Gil, During, Domestic Dispute, Eye of the Tiger, Marino Marini, Midas Eyes, Southern Image, Special Rate, Toccet, Watchem Smokey, and Zavata.

Posse is a closer who should have ample pace to follow. Last year, Debonair Joe rallied from last in the Malibu to score an upset at 26-1 in a field of 11.

"With 14 runners, you won't expect an easy lead and not that many will get an easy trip," Asmussen said.

Five Malibu hopefuls worked on Friday, including three trained by Bobby Frankel.

Watchem Smokey, the winner of the Underwood Stakes at Hollywood Park on Thanksgiving Day, had the fastest time of the Frankel runners, working six furlongs in 1:12.40. Midas Eyes, the runner-up in the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct last month, and Special Rate, who will be a longshot in the Malibu, were each timed in 1:13. All three worked at Hollywood Park.

Marino Marini, who will be making his first start on dirt, worked five furlongs at Hollywood Park in 1:00.40. He is trained by Doug O'Neill.

At Santa Anita, Southern Image worked seven furlongs in 1:24.60, the fastest of five recorded works at the distance.

Elloluv tops La Brea probables

Saturday's top race at Santa Anita is the $250,000 La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over seven furlongs.

Elloluv, the runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, heads a list of candidates that includes Acago, Buffythecenterfold, Island Fashion, Princess V., Randaroo, and Stellar.

Halfbridled breezes

Halfbridled, unraced since winning the Juvenile Fillies - and the leading candidate for the Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding 2-year-old filly - has resumed serious training.

She is being pointed for the $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes over a mile for 3-year-old fillies on Feb. 15.

On Friday, Halfbridled breezed three furlongs in 40 seconds at Santa Anita, according to trainer Richard Mandella. The workout did not appear on the daily workout tab.

"It was real easy," Mandella said. "We're getting her into a routine."

Unbeaten in four starts, Halfbridled has won three stakes, including the Del Mar Debutante and the Oak Leaf Stakes.

Mandella worked two other stakes winners on Friday - Action This Day and Olmodavor.

Action This Day, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, worked six furlongs in 1:17, a workout that was not intended to be fast. Mandella said Action This Day will have a faster workout next week as he nears a comeback in the $150,000 Santa Catalina Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 17.

Olmodavor worked five furlongs in 1:02. The winner of the Native Diver Handicap on Dec. 6, he is being pointed for the $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap on Jan. 3.