04/14/2002 11:00PM

Pinfield will train in Singapore


ARCADIA, Calif. - Tim Pinfield, who trained the sprint star Big Jag, said on Sunday he has accepted a position to open a stable in Singapore and is in the process of disbanding his California stable.

Pinfield will leave Santa Anita for Singapore in mid-May and begin training in June. He said he was approached by officials from the Singapore Turf Club earlier this year, asking him to relocate.

Pinfield, 35, expects to train up to 70 horses in Singapore for a variety of owners, including the Lucky Stable, one of that country's leading owners.

"Financially, it's massive," he said of the arrangement. "It's an opportunity I can't refuse. I like all the traveling and I like Asia. It's right down my alley."

A former jump jockey in his native England, Pinfield opened a public stable in California in 1996. The stable star was Big Jag, the winner of the 2000 Golden Shaheen in Dubai and 13 of 30 starts and $1,807,749 in his career.

Big Jag was euthanized last September after losing a battle with laminitis caused by injuries suffered while training in Dubai in March 2001. Big Jag also raced in Hong Kong, a circuit where Pinfield considered training before the Singapore offer was finalized.

"There was talk of going to Hong Kong," Pinfield said. "Singapore is starting to thrive and is going forward. There is a lot of European influence there, too, which helps."

This year, Pinfield's stable has won seven races throughout California.

Closing on a turf note

The Santa Anita winter-spring meeting ends on Sunday with an emphasis on turf racing. There are three turf stakes on Saturday and Sunday, but the closing day feature, the $400,000 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap, lacks a nationally prominent turf horse.

Should Continental Red win, he would certainly command more respect. Following a year of close finishes in stakes, Continental Red won the Grade 2 San Luis Rey Stakes on March 16.

Trained by Ian Jory, Continental Red is joined on the list of San Juan Capistrano probables by Cagney, Keemoon, Ringaskiddy, Speedy Pick, and Staging Post. White Cloud, a claimer, is being considered. Trainer Darrell Vienna said he may start Chelsea Barracks or Kerrygold.

Run over about 1 3/4 miles on turf, the San Juan Capistrano is the longest Grade 1 of the year.

Saturday's Santa Barbara Handicap features Golden Apples and Astra, who were first and third in the Santa Ana Handicap on March 23. They will be challenged by Blue Moon, Desiraes My Candy, Old Money, and Polaire.

Headley points his stars to Hollywood

Trainer Bruce Headley has chosen stakes at Hollywood Park for his star sprinters - Kona Gold and Kalookan Queen.

Kona Gold, the champion sprinter of 2000, is being pointed for the $100,000 Los Angeles Handicap over six furlongs on June 2. Seventh as the favorite in the Breeders' Cup Sprint last October, the 8-year-old Kona Gold has not started since finishing fourth in the De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel last November.

Kalookan Queen, who has won the Santa Monica and Potrero Grande handicaps at this meeting, will start in the $100,000 Desert Stormer Handicap for fillies and mares over six furlongs on June 7. She defeated males in the Potrero Grande Handicap on March 30.

Trainers endorse takeout hike

The board of directors of the California Thoroughbred Trainers have endorsed potential legislation that would raise the parimutuel takeout to help offset added costs to the state's troubled workmen's compensation program, according to executive director Ed Halpern.

The legislation has not been introduced, but was the subject of two recent meetings between racetrack officials and executives of horsemen's organizations. Another meeting is scheduled in Sacramento on Thursday.

Costs have risen for some trainers since March 1 when the last private company stopped offering policies. At that point, the trainers were forced to purchase policies from the government-backed State Fund, which offers considerably higher rates.

Another group of trainers face expiring policies on July 1.

While the takeout legislation is being considered, the CTT is attempting to compile data to present to insurance companies that could offer workmen's compensation policies in coming months. Halpern said there is an urgency to have something in place by July 1.

"The hope is that they're will be another program in place that could offer some relief," Halpern said. "The alternative is if we don't have the bill in place then there will be some sort of stopgap measure."

As a result of the higher policy costs, many trainers have raised rates charged to owners. The proposed legislation would offset those cost increases. How that money would be distributed has yet to be finalized, Halpern said.

Marlow off to good start

Mike Marlow, a former assistant to trainer D. Wayne Lukas, has won with two of his first five starters. On Saturday, Shabab, claimed by Marlow for $10,000 on Feb. 16, rallied on the inside to win a $12,500 claiming race for sprinters by a nose.

"We're off to a good start, for getting our first horses on Feb. 1," Marlow said.

Marlow spent 13 years with Lukas, spanning the time of Winning Colors to Charismatic, the 1999 Horse of the Year. Marlow had been an assistant trainer for Lukas in California and New York until December when Lukas restructured his program.

"He made some financial changes," Marlow said. "We didn't leave on hard feelings. I understood what he wanted to do and he understood what I wanted to do."

Currently, Marlow, 37, has eight horses in his barn. He said he would like to have 12 runners in his stable by the end of the Hollywood Park meeting in July and have a larger barn later this year.

"It takes a little time," Marlow said. "The more you get, the more you want, but I don't think you ever get satisfied."

Solis suspended

Jockey Alex Solis, who led the standings through Sunday with 73 winners, has been suspended three days - Wednesday through Friday. Solis leads Kent Desormeaux and Laffit Pincay by 10.

Solis was cited by track stewards for "altering course without sufficient clearance" in Saturday's fourth race. Riding Go for Greed, Solis moved to the inside near the quarter-pole, forcing Mon Petite to take up. After a lengthy inquiry, the stewards disqualified Go for Greed from second to fourth, and promoted Mon Petite from fourth to third.