01/20/2005 1:00AM

McCarron to resign from track post

Ticker Tape, with Kent Desormeaux after the American Oaks, was sold to Forging Oaks Farm.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Retired Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron said Thursday he intends to leave his management position at Santa Anita at the end of the meet to open a jockey school in Kentucky.

McCarron said he and his wife, Judy, will be traveling to the Lexington, Ky., area to purchase property. Details of the jockey school have not been completed, but McCarron said he has had the idea in his mind for years.

"I'm still working on putting together a business plan," he said. "I've been thinking about it for 15 years. I've got a good head start on the concept."

McCarron, 49, said his daughter Stephanie intends to launch a show horse business in Lexington at the same time.

McCarron said the move is likely to take place at the conclusion of the winter-spring meeting in April. McCarron currently holds the title of executive vice-president, industry relations. He held the title of general manager from March 2003 until this fall, when he decided to take a lesser role.

McCarron retired from riding in June 2002 with 7,141 wins. He won two Eclipse Awards as the nation's outstanding rider, as an apprentice in 1974 and in 1980 as a journeyman. Following his retirement, McCarron served as an expert consultant on the movie "Seabiscuit" and played a small role in the film, before joining Santa Anita's staff.

McCarron said he found racetrack management a more difficult job than he expected.

"I'm a little disappointed in myself that I was unable to contribute more to the success of Santa Anita," he said. "Then again, it's an incredibly complex challenge [to manage a racetrack].

"There are lots of different issues that need to be addressed," he said. "It's been a fascinating learning experience. One thing I will come away from is an appreciation of the complexity of the business. I have a much greater appreciation of how difficult it really is."

Ticker Tape sold to Forging Oaks

Ticker Tape, a finalist for the Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding turf female of 2004, has been sold by a three-man partnership to James Peyton's Forging Oaks Farm of Lexington, Ky., trainer Jim Cassidy said.

The deal was finalized Wednesday, ending two weeks of discussions that previous owners Jim Ford, Deron Pearson, and Jack Sweesy held with several parties.

Bloodstock agent Reynolds Bell helped to negotiate the deal, said Cassidy, who would not divulge the price. Earlier this month, Ford said a deal had been made to sell Ticker Tape for "in excess of $2.1 million."

A 4-year-old, Ticker Tape won 5 of 10 starts and $1,159,075 in 2004, a campaign highlighted by wins in the Grade 1 American Oaks at Hollywood Park and Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland. She also won the Grade 3 Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington and two stakes at Santa Anita - the China Doll and Providencia Stakes.

Ticker Tape finished third against older fillies and mares in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes on turf at Hollywood Park on Nov. 28.

Cassidy, who will continue to train Ticker Tape, said Ticker Tape has been sent to Texas for a three-month break and is expected to return to California in April.

Quintons Gold Rush dead

Quintons Gold Rush, a Grade 2 winner who most recently finished ninth in the Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26, has died at age 4 at San Luis Rey Equine Hospital in California. The colt was undergoing a surgical procedure on Monday on a nasal tumor when he died.

Announcement of his death was made by Nadia Sanan, general manager of her family's Padua Stables, which owned Quintons Gold Rush in partnership with Jay Manoogian. Bred by Toyomi Omiya in Kentucky, Quintons Gold Rush won the Grade 2 Lexington Stakes in 2004. He had a record of 3-1-0 from 10 starts and a $329,835 bankroll.

Auction winner donates to track

Horse owner Mark Takenaka won Santa Anita's recent charity promotion on ebay.com of a VIP Day at the races March 5. Although his successful bid was $4,550, Takenaka recently presented Santa Anita officials with a check for $10,000.

Santa Anita has promised the balance to AmeriCare Foundation's Tsunami Relief Fund.

Takenaka, a husband and father of three from Valencia, said in a statement released by the track that he was willing to go higher than $4,550 to win the auction, and therefore decided to donate more to the charity.

Takenaka's package includes lunch in the directors' room, a tour of the track from McCarron, and a trip to the winner's circle after the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap.

The auction attracted 35 bids.

Takenaka has a lengthy involvement in racing. He was an exercise rider in the 1980's and now has a few racehorses owned solely and in partnership. His hopes of becoming a rider ended many years ago because of a broken clavicle. Takenaka is in the wholesale mortgage business in Southern California.

- additional reporting by Glenye Cain