11/13/2006 12:00AM

Leparoux is back - and he's busy


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Anyone without a Daily Racing Form or simulcast program might have wondered why Julien Leparoux wasn't back riding Sunday at Churchill Downs after serving a three-day suspension for a riding infraction.

Leparoux hadn't taken an extra day off - he was in California to ride favored Grande Melody to a third-place finish in a $60,000 stakes at Hollywood Park for his mentor, trainer Patrick Biancone. But when Churchill resumes action Wednesday following a two-day break, Leparoux will be back on familiar ground, accepting mounts in eight of the 10 races.

Three of those races will be run under allowance conditions with purses of at least $50,000, and Leparoux, the national riding leader in wins in 2006, has mounts in all of them.

In the third race, a $58,500 allowance for fillies and mares, Leparoux will ride Ten Carat Ruby, who has gone winless in her last 10 starts but has rounded back to solid form for trainer Eddie Kenneally and appears to stand an excellent chance to defeat five other fillies and mares. Other contenders in the seven-furlong race include Starleena and Baldomera.

In the eighth race, a $50,000 turf route, Leparoux has the call from trainer Dave Kassen on Chosen Run, who drew the inside post in a full field of fillies and mares and will be looking to break out of a slump that has yielded a 1-for-20 career mark. The probable favorites in the race include Bless You, Sinister Lady, and Almonsoon.

In the ninth race, a $50,000 route, Leparoux will climb aboard Cotton King for Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel. Cotton King, who has lost his last two starts, both as an odds-on favorite, will be trying to redeem himself for those defeats when he breaks from the inside post in a field of seven.

Leparoux, who enters Wednesday action with a rather ordinary - for him, anyway - record of 6 wins from 55 mounts at the Churchill fall meet, reiterated Monday through his agent, Steve Bass, that he most likely will ride through the winter months at Turfway Park, the Florence, Ky., track where he broke several records last year. Biancone is keeping about 60 horses in Kentucky, split between Turfway and Keeneland.

Leparoux, 23, served the first suspension of his career last week. The penalty stemmed from his ride in the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup Distaff, in which his mount, Asi Siempre, was disqualified from second to fourth for impeding a rival.