02/02/2007 12:00AM

Latest Quinonez brother keeps busy winning


Alonso Quinonez may or may not wind up as the leading rider at the long winter-spring meet at Turfway Park, but the 23-year-old apprentice would be satisfied just to keep winning races at a steady clip.

"I am so happy," said Quinonez. "I didn't know I was going to do that good. Everything is feeling real good right now."

Through Thursday at the Florence, Ky., track, Quinonez had 30 winners from a meet-high 161 mounts. Only Miguel Mena - who, like Quinonez, has Steve Elzey for his agent - had more wins, 31 through Thursday.

Quinonez is the younger brother of established jockeys Luis and Belen Quinonez, both based in the Midwest. The family is from Mexico, where another brother, a sister, and Quinonez's parents still live. Alonso Quinonez has been in the United States for about four years, and for the three years before he began his riding career last fall at Churchill Downs, he worked as a stablehand and exercise rider for trainer Morris Nicks.

"My brothers and Morris, they taught me the most," said Quinonez. "Now all the owners and trainers are letting me ride the horses, they are helping me so much, too. I am trying to work hard to do my best for all of them."

Mena and Quinonez both have stayed a few wins ahead of Julien Leparoux, who has ridden at Turfway only on a semi-regular basis while also traveling to Southern California to ride for his main client, Patrick Biancone.

Fox Hill Farms scores again

When Southern Island posted a $46 upset in an entry-level allowance race Wednesday night, it was the second win this winter at Turfway for Fox Hill Farms, the East Coast-based stable best known for such standouts as Round Pond, Hard Spun, Rockport Harbor, and Jostle.

Rick Porter, the car-dealing tycoon who last May dispersed his stable among several trainers after exclusively employing John Servis for years, has two horses with Jeff Barkley, a former assistant to another of Porter's trainers, Larry Jones. Barkley, 46, is based at a private training center about 15 miles from Ellis Park in the western Kentucky town of Robards while Jones has about eight or 10 Fox Hill horses, including Hard Spun, at Oaklawn Park.

Southern Island, ridden by Quinonez, was making his Turfway debut while Snow Squall has been defeated twice in open claiming races after capturing a conditioned-claiming race on Dec. 9.

"Mr. Porter thought both horses would do well on the Polytrack, and Larry hooked me up with him," said Barkley.

Straight Line okay after rough trip

Straight Line, who finished last of eight as the favorite in the Jan. 28 Forego Stakes, came out of the race "nicked up a little bit but otherwise okay," according to Brian Williamson, the son-in-law and longtime associate of trainer Harvey Vanier.

"He had a really tough trip, so we're lucky he's going to be fine," said Williamson. "He banged into the rail real good and was fortunate not to go down."

Straight Line, who entered the Forego with 4 wins from his previous 5 starts, is one of about 10 horses based at Keeneland with Vanier, who through 2005 had wintered annually at Gulfstream Park in south Florida. Williamson explained that Vanier, 82, has not been in good health, one reason why the stable does not have a string in Florida again this year. Williamson has about 30 horses in training at Hawthorne in Chicago.

* The Sunday feature at Turfway is a $29,800 allowance for 3-year-old fillies. Stravinsky's Code, with Orlando Mojica riding for the Third Turn Stable, will be going for her third straight victory in the one-mile race. First post is 1:10 p.m. Eastern.