09/08/2004 12:00AM

Our New Recruit will rest up for BC Sprint


DEL MAR, Calif. - Our New Recruit, who ran the fastest six furlongs of the meet winning the Pirate's Bounty Handicap on Monday, will head straight to the Breeders' Cup Sprint on Oct. 30 at Lone Star Park.

Running fresh is ideal for Our New Recruit. He had been off for more than five months before sizzling six furlongs in 1:08.25 on Monday, and earlier this year he came off a seven-week layoff to capture the Dubai Golden Shaheen. Because of that, trainer John Sadler is inclined to skip the Oct. 10 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.

"He runs well fresh," said Larry Benavidez, Sadler's top assistant. "The Ancient Title is kind of too quick back to the Breeders' Cup. He'll probably go straight to the Breeders' Cup now. He had five months between Dubai and this, so what's two months?"

Bluesthestandard, who also was making his first start since March when he finished second in the Pirate's Bounty, could use the Ancient Title as a prep to the Breeders' Cup. Last year, Bluesthestandard finished third in the Ancient Title and then second in the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

Long Range Missile back from near death

It was nearly one year ago when Long Range Missile was set for his debut. In his final scheduled work for that race, he was breezing around the turn at Santa Anita. Suddenly, a horse who was jogging the wrong way wheeled, lost his rider, and bolted straight into the path of Long Range Missile. They crashed with a sickening thud.

Long Range Missile escaped relatively unscathed, save for a hematoma on his shoulder. His exercise rider, however, suffered a badly broken leg, and the other horse perished.

It took many months to get Long Range Missile to the races, but the patience has paid off. He scored in his debut July 3 at Hollywood Park, and on Monday remained unbeaten with a three-length victory against a first-level allowance field. He sped six furlongs in 1:08.71, just 0.46 seconds slower than Our New Recruit's time a half-hour earlier.

"I'm going to point him for the Strub Series at Santa Anita this winter," said Ron Ellis, who trains Long Range Missile, a 3-year-old colt. "I want to stretch him out once before then, because there's no time to stretch him out between the Malibu and the San Fernando."

The Malibu, on Dec. 26, is at seven furlongs. The San Fernando is 1 1/16 miles.

"He was ready to run last year at Oak Tree," Ellis said. "I thought he was my best 2-year-old then. If that other horse had wheeled five seconds earlier, or five seconds later, we'd have passed him."

Stevens returns to track

Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens was back in action Wednesday at Del Mar, two days after collapsing in the jockeys' room after riding Laura's Lucky Boy to a third-place finish in the Del Mar Derby.

Stevens was treated at Scripps La Jolla Hospital for dehydration Monday night, but was back at the track by Tuesday morning.

"They hung two liters of fluid on me in the hospital," Stevens said. "They said I didn't have any potassium and it was affecting my kidneys. They did an EKG (electrocardiograph) on me because I was having some tightness in my chest. But it turns out they think I have asthma, and they want me to see an allergist. I was relieved it wasn't my heart. I was just dehydrated."

It was unseasonably hot and humid at Del Mar on Monday. Stevens spent the early part of the day in the sweat box at the track, trying to lose a couple of extra pounds, but the heat of the afternoon sapped him.

"I pulled a couple of pounds,"Stevens said, "but it was just as hot outside, too."

Stevens had to take off one mount, Diamond Indy in the 10th and final race. Kerwin John picked up the mount and rode Diamond Indy to a $26.60 upset win.

Ruis to have knee surgery

A long summer for jockey Mick Ruis will end with arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Ruis, who won 36 of 280 races during the spring-summer meet at Hollywood Park, took off his final mount Wednesday at Del Mar, where he won just 11 of 147. A torn lateral meniscus had become increasingly bothersome, and Ruis said Wednesday that he would have surgery in the next few days.

"It's not a big deal, but [without surgery] it will be big," Ruis said.

Ruis said he believes the injury was a leftover from his high school wrestling days, and he said it became increasingly uncomfortable and caused him to change his style of riding.

"Down the stretch, I've started to close my knees," he said. "When I open my knees like they should be, it hurt."

Ruis, 17, said the summertime slump and injury caused a change in plans. After a short two-week recovery period, Ruis said he will return to Turf Paradise to defend his riding title. Ruis won 132 races during last winter's meet. "I can get on seven or eight horses a day there, and then come back," he said.

- additional reporting by Brad Free