12/12/2009 12:00AM

Rosario's six-win day puts him in rare company

Benoit & Associates
Joel Rosario counts his six victories out of seven mounts Friday at Hollywood Park.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Jockey Joel Rosario grabbed a spot in Hollywood Park's record book with a six-win day Friday. By doing so, he may have clinched the riding title at the fall meeting.

Rosario, who began the day with a three-race lead over Rafael Bejarano, ended the program with an eight-race advantage, 31 to 23. The fall meeting ends Dec. 20. There was racing on Saturday and Sunday over the weekend and four days of racing this week - Thursday through Sunday.

Rosario won with 6 of his 7 mounts Friday, tying a record shared by three Hall of Famers.

Rosario, 24, won the second through sixth races and the eighth race to equal a milestone set twice by Bill Shoemaker in 1953 and 1970, and once by Laffit Pincay Jr. in 1968 and Kent Desormeaux in 1992.

After finishing second on Spurrier in the first race, Rosario won the second race on Pick to Click ($6.80), the third race on Yankee Romance ($2.60), the fourth race on Madeline Ruby ($6.40), the fifth race on A Clever Ten ($5.40), and the sixth race on Free Lunch ($3.20). He did not ride the seventh - his mount was scratched - but returned to win the eighth on Stockings ($3.40).

"That's great," he said in the jockeys' room after the last race. "I'm very happy to be the jockey that wins six. Not many riders have done this. I thought I had nice horses that had good chances. You have days like that and you don't win."

Rosario was slightly miffed that he didn't win seven, thinking that Spurrier was making a winning move on the turn of the first race. Spurrier could not sustain the rally and was beaten by Aggie Engineer.

"I wanted to win but I couldn't," he said.

Rosario had two five-win days earlier this year at Hollywood Park.

The milestone came on an odd day for Rosario. That morning, he sat through the final testimony and closing arguments of a hearing brought by the California Horse Racing Board accusing Rosario of failing to put forth his best effort in a turf race at Del Mar in September.

Rosario rode Cedros to a fourth-place finish in a $67,390 maiden race over a mile on turf, the 11th race on Sept. 6. Cedros dueled for the lead for the first half-mile of the race, dropped back to fifth on the turn, and finished fourth, 3 1/2 lengths behind race winner Sterkel.

Rosario could face a fine or suspension if he is found in violation of the rules.

Lava Man scratches due to weather

Lava Man was officially scratched from Saturday's $150,000 Native Diver Handicap at Hollywood Park on race morning because of track condition, trainer Doug O'Neill said.

The 8-year-old gelding, unraced since July 2008, will be pointed to the $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap over 1 1/8 miles on turf at Santa Anita on Dec. 27.

O'Neill said Friday that he would scratch Lava Man from the Native Diver because of rain that day and expected rain early Saturday. Rain fell until late morning Saturday and was expected to continue through the afternoon.

"It's a safe track but a heavier than normal track," he said. "He hasn't been training on that track."

Lava Man has won 17 of 46 starts and $5,268,706. He was retired in summer 2008 but underwent a series of stem cell procedures later that year to regenerate cartilage in his ankles. The procedure led O'Neill and the partnership that owns Lava Man - Steve, Tracy, and Dave Kenly, and Jason Wood - to put him back in training this summer.

The partnership and O'Neill have the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Classic for California-breds and Florida-breds at Santa Anita on Jan. 30 as an early season goal for Lava Man.

Suzanne shipping in for Starlet

Encouraged by the fourth-place finish of the longshot Piscitelli in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita last month, owner William Schettine is sending another horse to California for a Grade 1 race.

Suzanne will be supplemented to the $300,000 Hollywood Starlet Stakes next Sunday, trainer Rick Sacco said Friday.

Sacco, a brother of Greg Sacco who trains Piscitelli, said Friday that Suzanne will be sent to California on Wednesday. The filly will be part of a field led by Beautician and Blind Luck, the second- and third-place finishers in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies; and Amen Hallelujah, who was third in the Grade 1 Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland in October.

Suzanne has 1 win in 7 starts and earnings of $44,570. Her best finish in three previous stakes was a fifth behind eventual BC Juvenile Fillies winner She Be Wild in the Arlington-Washington Lassie at Arlington Park in September.

Rick Sacco said that Suzanne ran better than indicated in the Arlington-Washington Lassie because of a wide trip. She closed from last of 10 to finish seventh in the John Franks Juvenile Fillies Turf at Calder on Nov. 14, her most recent start.

"The last race we got caught very wide in a turf race at Calder," Sacco said. "She's a nice filly, outside of races when she's encountered tough trips."