02/14/2002 12:00AM

Pincay reaches another milestone


ARCADIA, Calif. - Laffit Pincay Jr. reached the 9,300 mark in career wins Wednesday at Santa Anita and immediately set his sights on bigger milestones.

"This means a lot to me," Pincay said. "I'm looking forward to 9,500 and then we'll see how I'm doing. Hopefully, I will have a chance to reach 10,000." Pincay rode his 9,300th winner, Stage Player, in Wednesday's second race. The win comes 26 months after the 55-year-old Pincay surpassed Bill Shoemaker as the world's winningest rider with No. 8,834.

"I feel great," he said Thursday morning in the jockeys' room. "Nothing is any different for me." Pincay remains among the circuit's leading riders despite his age and a competitive roster of jockeys.

Through Wednesday, Pincay was third in the jockey standings with 26 wins, trailing Alex Solis (34) and Kent Desormeaux (33). Last year, Pincay won the riding title at this meeting ad two others - the Hollywood Park spring-summer season and the Oak Tree meeting in the fall.

His statistics are not in strong in stakes. Pincay has one stakes win at this meeting - Desiraes My Candy in the Reloy Handicap on Feb. 1.

"I haven't been riding many stakes," he said. "I have no idea why, but it's tough to get stakes mounts." This weekend, Pincay rides Critikola in Sunday's $200,000 Santa Maria Handicap, but does not have a mount in Saturday's $200,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap.

Critikola will be a longshot in the Grade 1 Santa Maria. Third in the 2001 Santa Maria, the Argentine-bred Critikola has yet to win in five starts in this country for trainer Bill Spawr. She was sixth in the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park on Dec. 15, her most recent start.

Asian Adventure wakes up

Asian Adventure has surprised trainer Clifford Sise with her workouts in advance of Saturday's $100,000 Boo la Boo Stakes.

"Her last three works have been totally awesome," Sise said. "Before, she was training very mediocre, like her usual self, but in her last three works she won't let a horse go by her."

Asian Adventure's workouts are an important factor since the Boo la Boo, run over six furlongs for California-bred 3-year-old fillies, is her first start since she finished second in the minor Anoakia Stakes last October. The Boo la Boo drew six entrants, including Lady George, the winner of the 2001 California Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Last season, Asian Adventure won the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association Stakes in July at Del Mar and placed in three other stakes before the Anoakia. She was ready for a break before the Anoakia, Sise said.

"In the Anoakia, she wasn't up to par," Sise said. "We almost scratched her. We knew we were going to kick her out so we ran her anyway. I thought she ran great running second.

"We turned her out for three weeks. I trained her like a horse that had been off for a couple of months. I gave her plenty of time. This is the first place to run her. She's not good enough for open, but she's good enough for Cal-breds."

Jockeys air concerns about track

Concern over the condition of the main track led to a meeting between approximately 10 horsemen and three track officials after training concluded on Thursday.

According to Luis Jauregui, the Jockey's Guild representative at Santa Anita, the 40-minute meeting was devoted to the condition of the track surface, the amount of water used on the course, and the track's banking.

"The jockeys were just voicing their opinions," Jauregui said. "We want a more consistent track, something that stays the same for bettors, the riders, and the horses. We'll know in the next week how things are going." Jauregui said the horses have churned up clods that have struck jockeys and horses.

Stevens, who agreed with Jauregui, said he recently had a clod cause a bloody nose. "The clods that fly back are dangers to the horses and the jockeys," he said. "It's like getting hit by a 90 mile-per-hour fastball. That's why you see horses going wide."

Track superintendent Steve Wood said his staff began adding more water to the track during Thursday's races. He said the absence of rain in the last month and dry conditions have made track maintenance difficult in recent weeks.

"I'm having a problem with the track because it's been dry with no humidity," Wood said. "This is almost the weather we'd see in June.

"We'll try to run two trucks, one truck right behind another. We're trying to keep it wetter. We'll see if it works."

Baze receives Woolf Award

Russell Baze, the dominant jockey in northern California over the last 20 years, has been named the recipient of the 2002 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award.

The award is presented annually at Santa Anita in memory of Woolf, the late jockey who was one of the nation's leaders in the 1930's. The award is selected by jockeys nationwide in honor of achievement and personal character.

Through Wednesday, Baze, 43, has 7,699 winners, fourth on the all-time list. Baze had one of his best seasons in 2001, winning 423 races. It was the ninth time in the last 10 years he has exceeded 400 winners.