09/05/2002 11:00PM

Miss Linda to miss Ruffian

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ELMONT, N.Y. - Miss Linda, who was being pointed to Saturday's $300,000 Ruffian Handicap, won't make the race because of a problem in her hind leg.

Miss Linda's trainer, John Kimmel, said the Grade 1 winner was lame after a routine gallop recently. There was filling in a hind ankle, but initial X-rays have revealed no fractures.

"The filling has come down a lot," Kimmel said Friday morning. "It's not a suspensory injury and there aren't any major fractures. It's nothing career-ending, but it's enough to put up the caution flag." Kimmel said he has scheduled additional X-rays to be taken using digital film, which produces a higher resolution picture than regular X-rays.

"Digital film can make it easier to pinpoint things," Kimmel said.

Miss Linda, a 5-year-old, finished fourth in the Grade 1 Go for Wand in her last start on July 28 at Saratoga.

Among the early probables for the Ruffian are Minister's Baby, Raging Fever, Shine Again, and You.

The Ruffian is one of four stakes on Saturday. The others are the $200,000-added Belmont Breeders' Cup Handicap; $150,000 Jerome Handicap; and $100,000-added Floral Park Handicap. The Ruffian, Belmont Breeders' Cup, and Jerome were canceled last year when racing was halted because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Silver Squire's stakes debut Saturday

Kimmel said Silver Squire is on target to make his stakes debut in next Sunday's $200,000 Futurity, a Grade 1 race for 2-year-olds.

Silver Squire was at the center of a controversial stewards' decision last month at Saratoga. The colt, who rolled home a 5 3/4-length winner, was disqualified and placed second in the allowance race because he lugged in while changing leads in the stretch. Many observers believe the infraction did not change the outcome of the race. Kimmel said Silver Squire's owner, Martin L. Cherry, has filed an appeal of the stewards' ruling with the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.

In his career debut, Silver Squire was a 3 1/2-length winner of a maiden race on opening day at Saratoga.

"Anytime you win a maiden race and another race at Saratoga, it's an indicator that the horse has some quality," Kimmel said.

Silver Squire is scheduled to work on Sunday.

In addition to Silver Squire, the early probables listed by the racing office for the Futurity are Atfirst Blush, Cape Good Hope, Storm Cadet, Truckle Feature, Unforgettable Max, Valid Video, and Whywhywhy.

The Futurity, a mile race, is joined on Sunday's card by its filly counterpart, the $200,000 Matron. The Futurity and Matron, like the Ruffian, Belmont Breeders' Cup, and Jerome, were not run in 2001 because of the terrorist attacks.

Carrero starts fast at new meet

A new meet and a new status proved to be a winning combination for jockey Victor Carrero on Friday, opening day of the Belmont fall meet.

In his first race as a journeyman rider, Carrero won the fourth aboard Tasty Chardoneigh.

Carrero, who rode 13 winners at the Saratoga meet, is the leading apprentice in New York this year with 54 winners and more than $2 million in earnings.

Edgar Prado, the leading rider of the Saratoga meet, won one race from eight mounts on the opening-day card.

Forbidden Apple probably won't bite

Forbidden Apple, a gutsy third in the Arlington Million, most likely will pass Saturday's Belmont Breeders' Cup, in favor of the $250,000 Kelso on Oct. 5. Forbidden Apple won the Kelso last year before finishing second in the Breeders' Cup Mile.

Forbidden Apple's trainer, Christophe Clement, nominated Forbidden Apple and Revved Up to the Belmont Breeders' Cup, a 1 1/8-mile grass race.

Clement said Revved Up was definite to start in the Grade 2.

"I could change my mind [about Forbidden Apple] if it rained and the course was soft," Clement said.

After the Arlington Million, Clement said he probably would run Forbidden Apple, a 7-year-old, only once more before the Breeders' Cup Mile on Oct. 26 at Arlington Park.

Prado, Migliore, Kutz vie for award

Prado and Richard Migliore, along with Midwest rider Dean Kutz, are the finalists for the 2002 Mike Venezia Memorial Award.

The winner will be selected by fans, turf writers, and jockeys. Fans can vote until Monday at 5 p.m. online at NYRA.com or by filling out ballots in the track program.

The New York Racing Association annually gives the Mike Venezia Memorial Award to a rider who "exemplifies extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship." Venezia died in a spill at Belmont Park on Oct. 13, 1988.

* Medaglia d'Oro, in his first breeze since winning the Travers Stakes on Aug. 24, worked a half-mile in 51.82 seconds, breezing, over Belmont Park's main track on Friday. Trainer Bobby Frankel has said it's possible that Medaglia d'Oro will train up to the Breeders' Cup Classic.

* Jerry Bailey bobblehead dolls, left over from a giveaway on opening weekend at Saratoga, will be given out with each paid admission on Sunday.