09/22/2003 12:00AM

Mullins saves his best for last


POMONA, Calif. - Trainer Jeff Mullins will come out of hiding this week at Fairplex Park. Mullins, who won 18 races with 65 starters during the last two seasons at the Los Angeles County Fair, started only eight runners (two wins) the first 10 days of the 2003 meet, but said Monday "I've got quite a few coming up for the last week here."

Does he ever.

Top Spinner, who is training like a bullring freak on the five-eighth-mile Fairplex track, runs Friday in the $100,000 Las Madrinas Handicap for fillies and mares; Excess Summer will be heavily favored Saturday in the $100,000 Pomona Derby; Denied faces Reba's Gold on Sunday in the $100,000 Ralph M. Hinds Pomona Invitational Handicap; and King Robyn seeks his second stakes win of the meet Sunday in the $50,000 Governor's Cup for older sprinters.

Ryan Fogelsonger rides Top Spinner, Denied, and King Robyn; Mullins said Julie Krone will ride Excess Summer. Winner of the El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar, Excess Summer's Sept. 16 workout at Fairplex was in the fog, and went unrecorded by clockers.

"From what I could see, he went good," Mullins said.

The trainer also picked up two former Julio Canani trainees owned by Michael House - group stakes-placed Cayoke and graded stakes winner Nazirali. Mullins's top sprinter Captain Squire worked Monday at Santa Anita, and runs Oct. 5 in the Grade 1 Ancient Title.

Pedroza appealing two suspensions

Jockey Martin Pedroza temporarily lost his cool, but he probably will not lose the riding title. Pedroza entered Monday with a 19-12 lead over Fogelsonger, and is on his way to a fifth consecutive Fairplex title. To get there, Pedroza must appeal two suspensions. Pedroza had two winners disqualified (In Excess Success on Sept. 18, Happy Yodeler on Sept. 19), and was handed three-day suspensions for each incident. His agent, Richie Silverstein, said Monday Pedroza would appeal both sets of days.

After the Sept. 19 disqualification, in which Fogelonsger inherited the win, Pedroza took exception to Fogelsonger's ride and shouted and pointed fingers at Fogelsonger near the winner's circle. Stewards fined Pedroza $300 for "disorderly conduct."

Dixie High subpar in victory

Dixie High will not scare anyone out of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies after earning a 68 Beyer Speed Figure winning the $110,300 Barretts Debutante on Saturday. But there is more to her 1 1/4-length victory than the figure shows.

"I was a little concerned about the way she ran, and she was really dull in the paddock," trainer Adam Kitchingman said. After the race, jockey Joe Steiner said the same thing: "She was not the same filly I worked."

Sure enough, Dixie High came out of the race coughing, and Kitchingman suspects that a viral infection was brewing even while Dixie High was overcoming a tough trip to win her second straight race. Wide early, and buried inside through the far turn, she surged late and, as Kitchingman said, "won it just on heart."

The trainer expects Dixie High to recover within a few days, and said he and owner Bill Peeples will aim her toward the Breeders' Cup. Dixie High's maiden win one start back earned the second-fastest Beyer Figure of the year in her division - 96.

Race continues despite spill

Jockey Carl Williams separated his shoulder and bruised his liver in a spill in the sixth race on Saturday, which might have resulted in the race being declared a no-contest. The horse Williams rode, Pueblo Peak, went down the first time the field passed the five-sixteenths pole of the 1 1/16-mile race.

The rest of the field continued on its way, and paramedics had to rush to get Williams off the track. Though riders of other horses appeared to slow the pace down noticeably, the race was fairly run according to stewards. Pueblo Peak suffered nothing more than a cut on his lip.

Black Ruby fourth on first-time Lasix

At age 9, Taz is back. At age 11, Black Ruby is backing up. The racing mules squared off against Smoking Joe on Saturday in a 350-yard race, won by Taz ($18.20) over favorite Smoking Joe. It was the 20th career win for Taz, who trainer Ray Thomas said responded to a more aggressive workout pattern and new rider April Grenamyer.

As for Black Ruby, a first-time Lasix user in her 69th start, she finished a flat fourth. It was the first time in her career she had finished out of the money, and lopsided action on her in the show pool led to inordinate show payoffs on the top three finishers - Taz returned $17.80; Smoking Joe $4; and Little John $22.20 in the six-horse field.

- Bold Roberta will be considered for the $100,000 Las Madrinas Handicap on Friday after her five-length win last Friday in the $50,000 Pio Pico Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs. The 5-year-old Bold Roberta won the Pico Pico in a quick 1:16.73, giving Fogelsonger his third win on the card. Bold Roberta, trained by Don Warren, returned $10.80. Sweetscakenshakes finished second, a half-length in front of 2-1 favorite Icantgoforthat.

- Tyler Baze picked up the tempo Sunday with three winners, and entered the final week of the Los Angeles County Fair race meet fourth in the standings. He trails Pedroza (19), Fogelsonger (12), and Felipe Martinez (11). David Neusch is having a big meet also, ranking fifth with eight wins.

- Trainers Doug O'Neill and Wesley Ward entered the final week tied atop the standings at seven wins each. O'Neill has started 27 runners, more than any trainer at the Fair. Ward's seven wins have been the result of just 12 starters.