09/11/2002 11:00PM

McCarthy passes Dominguez

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It took more than six weeks, but Mike McCarthy has passed the injured Ramon Dominguez to take over first place in the jockey standings at Delaware Park.

Dominguez has been stuck at 104 winners since he fractured his wrist in a spill on July 24. McCarthy, who was 31 winners behind at the time of Dominguez's injury, moved into first by riding four winners on last Saturday's card, including two stakes.

Coming into Saturday's program, McCarthy has 109 winners. If he remains on top, McCarthy will finish as Delaware's leading rider for the sixth time in the last seven years. His streak of five straight was snapped last year by apprentice Jeremy Rose.

"It's nice that I took the lead. Hopefully I will build up a long enough lead so when Ramon does come back, I will still have a chance to win the riding title," McCarthy said.

Dominguez's plans to resume riding by the end of this month have hit a snag. His doctor examined him last week and told him the pins that were inserted into his arm after he fractured his wrist can't be removed for another two weeks. That pushes back the timetable for Dominguez's return to mid-October.

"It looks like it will be another two weeks before he removes them, and another two weeks of rehabilitation," Dominguez said. "It's disappointing, but my health comes first. I would not want to come back to try to be leading rider and then have to be out for six months because it didn't heal right because I rushed things."

Unproven sophomores in turf stakes

A group of 3-year-olds with limited success on grass will have an ideal opportunity to earn black type in Saturday's $55,000 My Friend Russ Stakes, a one-mile turf race.

Lord Abounding, trained by Allen Iwinski, is the only two-time turf winner in the 10-horse field. He was strictly a sprinter until last month, when Iwinski stretched him out to a mile for the Spend a Buck Stakes at Monmouth Park. Lord Abounding responded by finishing a solid third with an 85 Beyer Speed Figure.

Seeking Greatness has tried turf only twice, but one of those was a wire-to-wire win at Belmont in which he earned a 95 Beyer.

Move Those Chains has finished at least third in four of his five grass races, including a win at Delaware against first-level allowance horses in June.