07/19/2006 11:00PM

New Joysey Jeff on stewards' list

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Trainer Neil Drysdale (right) at Del Mar on Thursday with owners Belinda and Roy Strudwick. The team will run Aragorn in the Read.

DEL MAR, Calif. - New Joysey Jeff, who has run erratically in the stretch of two stakes this summer, has been placed on a stewards' list by the Del Mar stewards because of his misbehavior and may be gelded in coming days, trainer Mark Glatt said on Thursday.

New Joysey Jeff finished third in the second division of the Oceanside Stakes on opening day Wednesday but veered out sharply in the stretch, interfering with Obrigado and Porto Santo. Those two recovered to finish first and second, but the interference may have cost Porto Santo a chance at a win since his rally was significantly interrupted.

The incident came four weeks after New Joysey Jeff unseated jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. when vying for the lead in the Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park. Valdivia suffered a broken collarbone and has yet to return to riding.

In both races, New Joysey Jeff reacted after being struck left-handed with a whip. Corey Nakatani rode New Joysey Jeff on Thursday.

Del Mar stewards Grant Baker, Scott Chaney, and George Slender placed New Joysey Jeff on the stewards' list. New Joysey Jeff will be allowed to resume racing after he has a workout without incident, Chaney said.

"He will be on [the stewards' list] until we watch him work a couple of times," Chaney said. "He's not on for 30 days or 60 days, he's on until he can make the course properly. Our main goal is to protect the other horses and riders and the betting public from this happening again."

Glatt met with the stewards on Thursday. Even before the meeting, he and the partnership that owns New Joysey Jeff were considering gelding New Joysey Jeff.

"I'm frustrated," Glatt said. "I don't know what to do. What's happening lately is he's becoming more aggressive as a stallion. When he rolls up to a horse, he wants to lay on them and lug in.

"Jockeys instinctively hit him left-handed," said Glatt. "Most horses you can hit left-handed and they won't react. I thought last time was a one-time occurrence. Now that he's done it two times in a row, we know you can't hit him left-handed."

Valenzuela out with back injury

Jockey Patrick Valenzuela will not ride this week after being excused from his mounts on Wednesday because of what his agent said is a back injury.

Chaney said the stewards removed Valenzuela from his mounts on Thursday and Friday and asked his agent, Tom Knust, not to name Valenzuela on any horses this weekend until the jockey receives a doctor's clearance to resume riding.

"He's complaining of a medical issue, and we're requiring a doctor's release until he can ride again," Chaney said.

Valenzuela was scheduled to see a doctor on Friday, when he could receive a cortisone shot, be advised to rest, or have surgery recommended, Knust said.

"He couldn't get in today" to the doctor's office, Knust said Thursday. "He wants to get this thing behind him. He needs the doctor's blessing."

Valenzuela, who has a history of substance abuse problems, passed a drug test on Wednesday that was administered by California Horse Racing Board investigators, according to a CHRB spokesman. The test was administered at Valenzuela's Arcadia, Calif., home. A second test was scheduled for Thursday.

Valenzuela did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Valenzuela finished second in the jockey standings at the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting that ended last Sunday. He was the leading rider of the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting earlier this year.

Knust said on Thursday that he will represent jockey Corey Nakatani, effective immediately. Nakatani was previously represented by Bob Meldahl.

Track tests continue at Santa Anita

Santa Anita continues to make alterations to the base of its main track, a project that has required the track to be closed for training since last weekend.

Track president Ron Charles said officials inspected the base last weekend, rebuilt the track surface, and then decided to inspect the base again to ensure consistency. He said sonar equipment was used to test the consistency of the base.

Training is likely to resume on the track on Tuesday or Wednesday, Charles said. He said the track has brought in new sand, which will be applied on Saturday and Sunday.

"We've gone down the base and had it tested," Charles said. "There was an area we improved on."

The surface was the source of criticism from horsemen earlier this year, with many citing an increase in injuries to their stable. Charles said the inspection was conducted at this time, so the track could be ready for the next live race meeting, the Oak Tree season from Sept. 27 to Oct. 29.

In recent days, stables based at Santa Anita have been required to exercise horses on the track's half-mile training track.

McAnally sends two in Eddie Read

Trainer Ron McAnally, who won a division of Wednesday's Oceanside Stakes with Lightning Hit, has two runners in Sunday's Grade 1, $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap - Fast and Furious and Sweet Return, both outsiders.

Fast and Furious, second in the 2004 Hollywood Derby, was third in an allowance race at Hollywood Park on June 14, his only start since winning an allowance race at Santa Anita in February. Sweet Return, who won the 2005 Read, is winless in five subsequent starts.

The other runners include Aragorn, Fourty Niners Son, Hendrix, Quasimodo, and Silent Name.