03/09/2006 1:00AM

Lloyd of England nears U.S. debut

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Sunshine Millions Sprint champ Bordonaro will go next in either New York or Arkansas.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Last fall, owner Jim Ford turned to Jamie Lloyd, an assistant trainer to Paddy Gallagher, for advice on a few prospects to be offered at a horse sale in England.

Lloyd accompanied Ford to the sale, where they purchased the group-stakes-placed Shermeen for approximately $290,000. Then Ford made Lloyd an offer that changed his year: He asked Lloyd to train the filly.

"It was a hard opportunity to turn down," Lloyd said.

On Saturday, Shermeen will be Lloyd's first starter, if she runs in the $80,000 China Doll Stakes.

Shermeen won 3 of 9 starts in England, and was third in the Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes against males at Salisbury, England, in October.

"We did a lot of research and [Shermeen] was the reason to go over there," Lloyd said of last fall's sale.

Lloyd was born in Newmarket, England, and grew up in that racing town, where his father worked on stud farms.

"I walked out of the house straight into a breeding yard," he said.

Lloyd worked for Jim Cassidy before going to work for Gallagher last year. Lloyd has six horses at Hollywood Park, where he also oversees Gallagher's second string. He hopes to expand his stable by the end of the year, but has no plans to leave Gallagher's team.

"I hope to have more horses then. I don't want to do half a job for either," he said. "Paddy has been very supportive."

Bordonaro's next: Carter or Count Fleet?

Bordonaro, who has emerged as one of the top sprinters in the nation in recent months, will start in the $300,000 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct on April 8 or the $150,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn Park on April 13, trainer Bill Spawr said.

The Carter Handicap is at seven furlongs, while the Count Fleet is run over six furlongs.

"That's our direction right now," he said. "He's doing very well. Then, we'll point for Del Mar."

Bordonaro has not started since winning the Sunshine Millions Sprint for California-breds and Florida-breds at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 28. Owned by Fred Carrillo and Daniel Cassella, Bordonaro has won 7 of 9 starts and $372,164. He has won three consecutive stakes, including the California Cup Sprint and the Vernon Underwood Stakes.

Spawr said that Bordonaro would be held out of the $200,000 Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita on April 2 because the race offers a purse of only $100,000 for horses not nominated the Breeders' Cup program, and Bordonaro isn't nominated.

Gomez moves up with three-bagger

Jockey Garrett Gomez won three consecutive races on Wednesday to draw even with Victor Espinoza for second place in the jockey standings at Santa Anita with 48 wins. They trail leader Patrick Valenzuela, who has 57 wins, but took off his mounts on Wednesday because of illness.

The standings could change considerably in coming weeks, when all three riders will be out of town. Espinoza and Gomez will travel to Dubai for a week later this month, while Valenzuela plans to ride extensively at Keeneland in April, according to his agent, Tom Knust.

Valenzuela rides frequently for trainer Bobby Frankel, who will have a stable at Keeneland.

"I think he'll be there a lot," Knust said of Valenzuela riding at Keeneland. "We'll go for the stakes; it's where our business is."

* Moscow Burning, the winner of two restricted stakes here this year, will start next in the Grade 2 Santa Ana Handicap on March 26. Trainer Jim Cassidy said he plans to keep Moscow Burning at Santa Anita as opposed to shipping to Golden Gate Fields for the Work the Crowd Handicap on April 1. On Thursday, Moscow Burning worked five furlongs in 1:02.