Updated on 09/15/2011 1:39PM

Phone bet bill one step away


DEL MAR, Calif. - The state Assembly on Friday passed a bill that allows telephone wagering, two days after it was approved by the state Senate. The bill has been forwarded to California Gov. Gray Davis, who may sign or veto the bill, or do nothing for 30 days, at which point it becomes law.

Assembly Bill 471 will allow tracks to develop a telephone betting system. There is also language in the bill that would establish a system to unionize backstretch workers.

Last year, a similar bill was vetoed by Davis. At the time, Davis said he was against any expansion of gambling.

In recent weeks, racing officials have attempted to reach out to Davis in an attempt to sway him into supporting the legislation.

Davis may wait two weeks before he addresses the matter, because the Legislature is approaching a recess, racing officials said.

Captain Steve to San Diego

Captain Steve, who has lost two starts since winning the Dubai World Cup last March, is among the probables for the $250,000 San Diego Handicap next Sunday.

A likely preview of the $1 million Pacific Classic here on Aug. 19, the Grade 2 San Diego may feature three runners from the Hollywood Gold Cup on July 1.

Captain Steve was fourth in that field, but Futural, who finished first and was disqualified and placed third; and Skimming, who was promoted from third to second, are probable. Other possible runners are Budroyale, Dig For It, Freedom Crest, Out of Mind, Penamacor and Smile Again.

Budroyale, who was second in the 1999 Breeders' Cup Classic, has not started since finishing seventh in the 2000 Pimlico Special 14 months ago. He has a workout scheduled for Monday that will determine his participation, trainer Ted. H. West said.

Trainer Bob Baffert said that an evaluation of Captain Steve will be made later in the week before he is considered a definite. Captain Steve was second in the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs in June in his first start since winning in Dubai.

The San Diego is one of three major stakes next weekend.

Saturday's $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap is the top turf race of the Del Mar meeting. The probables include Irish Prize, National Anthem, Native Desert and Timboroa. Irish Prize has won his last three starts - the Fastness Handicap and Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile at Hollywood Park and the Firecracker Breeders' Cup Handicap at Churchill Downs on July 4.

Sunday's $150,000 San Clemente Handicap for 3-year-old fillies on turf is expected to include Dynamous, Gabriellina Giof, La Vida Loca, Reine de Romance and Voodoo Dancer, who won the Flawlessy Stakes at Hollywood Park on May 28.

Rodriguez gets a win

Apprentice jockey Macario Rodriguez rode his first winner since June 29 when Johnny One Note ($24.20) won the fourth race at Del Mar on Friday.

Rodriguez missed the first half of July because of a pelvis injury suffered in a training accident. He received doctor's clearance to resume riding last Tuesday, the night before Del Mar opened.

"I'm 100 percent," he said. "I've got to impress some trainers and get ready for Pomona."

* Mirco Demuro, one of Italy's top riders, is exercising horses for trainer Richard Mandella and says he intends to ride at this meeting. Demuro, who has spent time with Mandella on two occasions in the past year, said he recently finished a 20-day suspension he received from French racing officials for causing a spill at Chantilly. He arrived last Tuesday for a one-month stay, during a quiet period on the Italian calender.

* Brice Blanc continues to feel the effects of minor injuries suffered in a spill last Wednesday. Blanc was off his mounts for the fourth consecutive day on Saturday, giving up three rides. He was booked to ride one mount on Sunday, and has one ride on Monday, Iam the Ice Miss in the second race. Blanc was involved in a two-horse spill in Wednesday's second race. He underwent x-rays that were negative, but has complained of lower back pain.