05/29/2003 11:00PM

New faces top jockey, owner standings

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - As a 10-race Sunday program kicks off the second half of the 52-day spring meet at Churchill, the names atop the jockey and owner standings probably come as surprises to most racing fans.

Through Thursday, Cornelio Velasquez led all jockeys with

23 wins, while Peter Willmott was the leading owner with five wins from just 10 starters.

Velasquez, riding his first full Churchill meet, held a four-win lead over Robby Albarado and perennial kingpin Pat Day going into Friday's action.

Willmott, a retired corporate executive from Williamstown, Mass., has owned a quality stable for some 15 years - Williamstown, a former record-holder for one mile at Belmont, probably ranks as his best horse - but Willmott's lack of numbers typically have him far down the owner standings.

In no small part because the Willmott horses are running so well here, Tony Reinstedler, who trains the Willmott horses locally, also has enjoyed a bang-up first half of the Churchill meet, winning with seven of just 17 starters.

Reinstedler appears to have another solid chance of winning Sunday. He will saddle Deferred Comp in the ninth-race feature, a $62,700 allowance named the Ridan purse. Deferred Comp, a hard-trying 5-year-old owned by Charles Galli, has been sharp in two of his four starts this year, winning a Gulfstream allowance in January and finishing third in a Turfway Park stakes in March.

Probably the strongest of the six challengers to Deferred Comp in the 1 1/16-mile feature are Bonus Pack, Generous Rosi, and Mail Call.

Meanwhile, the trainer who leads the standings here will come as no surprise: Dale Romans, who has tied for the training crown at the last three spring meets, led with 16 winners through Thursday.

Besides the second half of the meet, Sunday also marks the beginning of a Churchill policy that mandates minimum jockey weights of 116 pounds in most races. That policy was announced about two weeks ago by racing secretary Doug Bredar.

High hopes for Tenpins

Tenpins, a winner of three graded stakes last year, is nearing his 5-year-old debut after being put through two half-mile breezes here recently.

"He'll go five-eighths early this week," said trainer Don Winfree. "I'd like to run him before the meet ends [July 6]. It's just a question of when he's dead ready."

Tenpins was turned out on a Lexington farm after finishing fourth in the Clark Handicap last fall. Winfree said a stone bruise precluded the horse from returning to training any earlier.

Winfree is optimistic that Tenpins, a Michigan-bred owned by Joe Vitello, could have a year to equal or exceed his 2002, when he won the Schaefer, Washington Park, and Fayette handicaps. Winfree is even allowing himself to think about the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic Oct. 25 at Santa Anita.

"He's over his little problem, and I think he's as good or better physically than he was last year," said Winfree. "It's a long year, and I'm going to have a fresh horse when the fall rolls around. All you've got to do is look at what happens every year, how horses start falling by the wayside. It seems like there's always a bunch of them."

Winfree speculated that because Tenpins has not raced since late November, the horse probably will be eligible for a classified allowance race by meet's end.

Whatever happened to Tincin?

The sorry saga of Tincin added another pitiful chapter Thursday when the 5-year-old gelding finished 10th of 12 starters in the fifth race here. The race was for $15,000 maiden claimers, the absolute bottom of the Churchill class ladder. Tincin was never a factor at 88-1 under an obscure jockey named Rahede Teague.

Two years ago, trainer Steve LaRue wanted to run Tincin in the Kentucky Derby, but after a slow workout a week before the race, LaRue said Tincin had developed a cough and would not run. Before the horse was declared out, the prospect of a horse as badly overmatched as Tincin running in the Derby had many people in an uproar.

LaRue still trains Tincin at Ellis Park. The gelding is listed as being owned by LaRue's wife, Tina. In

27 career starts, Tincin, by Discover, has managed one second and five thirds for earnings of $7,656.

Jockey Troilo sidelined

Veteran jockey Bill Troilo will be out of action for about four weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery Friday at a Fairfield, Ohio, hospital. Troilo, 42, was diagnosed with a torn ligament, loose cartilage, and arthritis in the knee, which he aggravated shortly after the break in a race at Turfway Park this spring.

Troilo, a native of Philadelphia, posted his 2,000th career victory at Turfway Park on March 8. He is expected to be back exercising horses in about two weeks, then riding again at Churchill before the meet ends.

Troilo has ridden sparingly at Churchill this spring, having won with one of 14 mounts. He also has been active at Indiana Downs and River Downs.

Raffle offers college scholarship

The touring college scholarship raffle sponsored in part by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association makes its next stop Sunday at Churchill Downs.

Ten scholarships worth $1,000 each will be given away to college students, one after each race. The last scholarship will be given to a person employed in the Kentucky racing or breeding industry, or someone who has a family member so employed.

One key facet: You must be present to win. "A large part of that is an attempt to encourage attendance by younger people," said Lanny Kohnhorst, racetrack representative for the KTA.

Since 2000, the KTA and participating racetracks have given away about 70 scholarships. The KTA raffle tour also makes regular stops at Keeneland and Ellis Park. The raffles typically attract hundreds of people of college age.