08/12/2007 11:00PM

McAleney back in saddle after injury


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Jimmy Mac is coming back.

Jockey Jim McAleney, who has ranked in the top five here in each of the last five seasons, suffered a fractured femur in a training mishap two mornings before the March 31 opening of the Woodbine meeting.

Now, after months of rehabilitation and weeks of galloping and working horses, McAleney will be returning to action with two mounts on Wednesday's eight-race program.

"I'm feeling really good," McAleney said Monday morning. "My leg healed incredibly well.

"Mentally and physically, I'm screaming to get back. I'm probably better prepared than I have been any time I've come back in the spring. I have a lot of confidence, and I'm excited."

McAleney, who will celebrate his 38th birthday Wednesday, will be looking to put some icing on his cake with Port Renfrew in the fourth race and River Barrow in the seventh.

Both Port Renfrew and River Barrow are trained by Reade Baker, who has been McAleney's biggest booster here in recent years and considers him an integral part of his racing operation.

Port Renfrew has not seen action since April 7, when he finished last of eight in a first-level allowance, his first start in almost a year.

McAleney has been aboard Port Renfrew for two solid recent drills, however, and the gelding could come up big in this $40,000 claimer for nonwinners of two.

"Obviously, he's got issues," Baker said. "But he's worked better than he ever has in his life. I don't know why - maturity, I guess."

River Barrow failed as the even-money favorite in a six-furlong Ontario-sired maiden special here July 28 and will be heavily supported again Wednesday as she faces the same sort at seven furlongs.

In the evening's headliner, Frank's Selection will be looking to rediscover his winning ways in his third start as an 11-year-old.

Frank's Selection has thrived in the month of August in recent years, placing in three consecutive editions of the Play the King at seven furlongs on turf.

Although he missed the Play the King last year, Frank's Selection won a seven-furlong turf race last Aug. 18 while racing with a $62,500 tag in a second-level optional claimer.

Frank's Selection will be making his third start of the season under the same terms Wednesday with his regular rider, Jack Lauzon, in the irons.