02/05/2004 12:00AM

New rider Santiago starts with bang


ARCADIA, Calif. - Javier Santiago, a top rider in Puerto Rico in recent years, won two races on Wednesday at Santa Anita, making a splashy debut in his first day of riding in California.

Santiago, 26, had six mounts on the eight-race program and won with Lady Sax ($6.20) in the fifth and Grant Marty a Wish ($6.80) in the seventh. He finished third in the final race.

"It's incredible," he said in halting English after the last race. "I'm so happy."

Santiago was the leading rider in Puerto Rico in 1996, 1997, and 1999, and said he has finished second in the standings there in the last two years. Santiago said he has ridden briefly in the United States in the past, at Delaware Park in 2001 and in a stakes at Calder last year.

He came to California at the urging of jockey agent Tony Matos, who is representing him.

Santiago arrived in Los Angeles on Tuesday and said he plans to stay in California. Santiago was booked on two mounts on Thursday and one ride on Friday, a program plagued with short fields.

On Saturday, Santiago has six mounts on the 10-race program, including the longshot Mud Shark in the $300,000 Strub Stakes, the day's ninth race.

Champion juveniles both tighten up

The two champion juveniles of 2003, the male Action This Day and the filly Halfbridled, worked at virtually the same time on Thursday.

Action This Day breezed three furlongs in 35.60 seconds. He makes his 3-year-old debut in Sunday's $75,000 Sham Stakes.

Halfbridled, unbeaten in four starts, worked seven furlongs under jockey Julie Krone. She was timed in 1:26.60 by Mandella.

Halfbridled is scheduled to make her 3-year-old debut in the $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes over a mile on Feb. 15. She has not started since winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies here on Oct. 25.

Action This Day will be a strong favorite in the Sham, run over 1 1/8 miles. In Thursday's workout, Action This Day was ridden by David Flores, who was aboard for the colt's upset win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last October.

"Every time he works, he's finishing the last quarter of a mile," Flores said. "It looks like he has more weight on him and he looks stronger."

In the Sham, Action This Day is likely to face Borrego, Gethsemani, Master David, Preachinatthebar, Totally Platinum, True Contender, and Winner From Mars.

Action This Day is the only stakes winner of the group.

Master David was second in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct in November in his U.S. debut and third in the Santa Catalina Stakes on Jan. 17. Now trained by Bobby Frankel, Master David began his career in England, where he won his maiden in his third start, a seven-furlong sprint in September at Thirsk.

Winner From Mars is the only undefeated colt on the probables list. Trained by Kristin Mulhall, Winner from Mars has won twice on turf - a maiden race at Hollywood Park Nov. 26 and an optional claimer here on Jan. 18.

Halfbridled draws raves from Krone

Thursday's workout by Halfbridled was the first time that Krone had been aboard the champion since the Juvenile Fillies.

Halfbridled started behind the two stablemates, rallied between them in early stretch and finished several lengths clear.

"All I did was drop her head and she took off," Krone said.

Trainer Richard Mandella said he would liked Halfbridled to have had more competition in the final furlong. "She was good until she got by those horses and then she got lazy," he said. "She throws her ears up and thinks its over."

Halfbridled's time did not appear on the daily workout sheet, even though she worked in company with two other horses trained by Mandella.

Albarado coming to town to receive award

Midwest-based jockey Robby Albarado will be at Santa Anita on Saturday to receive the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award.

The award, voted by riders throughout the nation, reflects personal character and success on the track. In 2003, Albarado's mounts earned $11,061,314, ranking him 11th in the nation. Albarado, 30, was the regular rider of Horse of the Year Mineshaft. He rode 185 winners.

The Woolf Award ceremony will be held following the sixth race in the winner's circle. Gary Stevens, who portrayed Woolf in the film "Seabiscuit," will introduce Albarado. The award will be presented by Chris McCarron, the Hall of Fame jockey and general manager of Santa Anita.

McCarron won the Woolf Award in 1980; Stevens won it in 1996.

In the ceremony, Albarado will be joined by his wife, Kimber, and agent, Lenny Pike.

Albarado has two mounts on Saturday at Santa Anita - Sublet in the fourth race and Toccet in the $300,000 Strub Stakes.

Smith lands ride on Adoration

Jockey Mike Smith will have the mount on Adoration in the $250,000 Santa Maria Handicap on Feb. 16.

Adoration was ridden by Patrick Valenzuela when she pulled an upset in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita last fall.

With Valenzuela currently suspended after failing to appear at the racetrack to submit to a drug test on Jan. 22, trainer David Hofmans selected Smith for the mount. Smith worked Adoration last weekend.

Adoration, 5, has not started since finishing second in the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park on Dec. 7.

Fogelsonger and Sorensen suspended

Jockeys Ryan Fogelsonger and Danny Sorensen have received three-day suspensions for riding infractions last week.

Sorenson was suspended Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday for his ride on Giovannetti in the Palos Verdes Handicap last Sunday. Sorenson was cited for crossing over without sufficient clearance on the backstretch.

Fogelsonger is appealing his suspension, according to his agent, Michelle Barsotti. Fogelsonger was cited for failing to keep a straight course aboard Reef's Sis in the seventh race on Jan. 28. Fogelsonger's suspension covered racing from Thursday through Saturday this week.

* Lion Heart, unbeaten in three starts and a top 2-year-old of 2003, worked five furlongs in 1:01.20 on Thursday. Trained by Patrick Biancone, Lion Heart is being prepared for the $200,000 San Rafael Stakes over a mile on March 6. The colt has not started since winning the Hollywood Futurity in December.

Thursday's drill was Lion Heart's second recorded workout since he returned to serious training.