09/09/2001 11:00PM

Puglisi hurt, but just a little

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POMONA, Calif. - Jockey Iggy Puglisi was not seriously injured Saturday when he was unseated on the first turn of the Phil D. Shepherd Stakes at Fairplex Park, but a sore back prevented him from riding all but one of his six scheduled mounts Sunday.

Puglisi was unseated from Credit Call in the Shepherd on Saturday, and an attempted comeback Sunday was aborted after one race. Jockey agent Richie Silverstein said Puglisi would try again Monday. "He jarred his back, he's walking fine, but when he went to ride, there was some discomfort," Silverstein said. "He'll try to come back and ride [Monday]." Puglisi was named on five horses Monday; four on Tuesday.

Last year, Puglisi tied for fourth in the jockey standings with 12 winners at the Los Angeles County Fair. Among Puglisi's missed mounts Sunday was E.B. Johnston Stakes winner Cee Dreams, who was ridden by Omar Berrio.

Matt Garcia led the jockey standings after opening weekend, with seven wins, followed by Tyler Baze and Martin Pedroza, with four victories each.

In the trainer standings, Jeff Mullins is threatening to pull away early. Mullins won five races with just 10 starters the first three days, and expects to remain active throughout the 18-day meet. Mark Glatt has three wins.

Gallant Bob next for Presidio Heights

Foothill Stakes winner Presidio Heights is headed east for his next start, trainer Art Sherman said Monday. Presidio Heights earned a 91 Beyer Speed Figure winning the Foothill by 1 1/4 lengths on Friday, and will reappear Oct. 6 at Philadelphia Park in the $150,000 Gallant Bob Stakes for 3-year-olds.

"There aren't many places you can run against 3-year-olds going short," Sherman said. "The timing is perfect, and this horse is just now coming into himself. He's improving a lot."

The win was Presidio Heights' third from six starts, and his third straight win in a sprint. Ridden by Frank Alvarado, Presidio Heights raced gate to wire to win the 6 1/2-furlong Foothill in 1:16.86. Kingston finished second, three-quarters of a length in front of Bettor Royalty. Way to the Top, favored at 2-1, finished a flat seventh.

The Foothill was Sherman's first Fairplex stakes win as a trainer. Sherman rode Injunction to victory in the 1967 Foothill. Presidio Heights, owned by William Zellerbach, paid $11.60.

Soft handicapping qualifier

Horseplayers hoping to compete in the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Tournament in January will find few easier spots to qualify than Fairplex Park.

Sixty-six horseplayers will qualify for the Sept. 23 Fairplex final, in which the top four finishers earn a berth in the national championship. To qualify for the Fairplex final, bettors purchase a $100 bet card to make ontrack wagers on at least five Fairplex races. The entire $100 must be wagered (bettors keep all proceeds). The highest daily money-winner qualifies, along with the top 50 winners through the meet.

There is no limit on the number of bets that can be made on each card, and all forms of wagering except parlays are accepted. Bettors who tap out early can purchase a new bet card and try again. Fairplex officials have received out-of-state interest from Las Vegas to New York.

For the Sept. 23 final, the 66 qualifiers have a single $100 bet card on which to run up their bankroll. The four qualifiers receive entry, airfare and accommodations to the National Championship in Las Vegas.