10/16/2002 11:00PM

Roxelana to miss TCA Stakes


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Although Sunday's Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes figures to be deep and competitive, the Grade 3 race at Keeneland would be shaping up even better if not for a little bug.

Roxelana, the standout mare who last month was impressive in winning a Turfway Park allowance race off a lengthy layoff, will miss the TCA Stakes after having been sidelined with what trainer Blackie Huffman believes was a virus.

"We actually never really found out what it was, although it probably was some kind of bug," Huffman said Thursday from Churchill Downs. "She missed maybe four or five days just because she wasn't feeling good. She's fine, and she's been back to the track the last three or four days, but it wouldn't have been right to try and force her back into this spot."

The $125,000 TCA Stakes, a six-furlong race that will be run for the 22nd time, would have been a revealing test for Roxelana. A 5-year-old Boundary mare, Roxelana was retired in Feb. 2001 after a brief but spectacular racing career. She was returned to training last May after incurring complications as a broodmare, winning her comeback at Turfway in late September, after which Huffman said he would point her to the TCA.

"Now we're going to look for a race for her at Churchill," Huffman said.

Even without Roxelana, the TCA Stakes should be one of the better stakes in the U.S. this weekend, considering the relatively light stakes schedule in the shadow of the Breeders' Cup. Cat Cay, who won the 2001 TCA by 7 1/2 widening lengths, is the likely favorite for trainer Shug McGaughey in a prospective field of 10 fillies and mares.

The other probables are Away, Don't Countess Out, Freefourracing, French Riviera, Fuse It, Interest Only, La Galerie, Miss Photogenic, and Sweet Nanette.

Following the plan

Daisyago might not be good enough to win the Valley View Stakes here Saturday, but the filly's owner and trainer, John Glenney, is just glad to be taking part.

Glenney, 51, made a personal fortune by selling his biotechnology business in 1995. He soon turned to Thoroughbred racing as a way to stay active and now has more than 40 horses, including broodmares and unraced stock. He and his wife, Kim, live on Gardens Glen Farm in nearby Georgetown, Ky.

Glenney, a Houston native, has a doctoral degree in biochemistry but "walked away from it 100 percent. When we got into the Thoroughbred business, Kim and I decided we wanted to play at a high level, and we've been incredibly fortunate so far."

Glenney has made a circuit of Kentucky in the spring and fall and Del Mar in the summer. He won the Elkhorn Stakes last spring with Kim Loves Bucky and has several other runners in his stable, including Daisyago, who won an allowance race here opening weekend.

"We thought this might be the right time to bring her back in stakes company," he said.

Superfectas now on all races

As of Wednesday, Keeneland began offering superfecta wagering on every race when allowable under Kentucky regulations. A race must be carded with at least eight betting interests and be run with at least six interests. The superfecta also can be offered in stakes races carded with at least six interests.

Like all exotic wagers at Keeneland, the takeout rate on superfectas is 19 percent.

Day wins four and leads standings

Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day, who has won a record 19 riding titles at Keeneland, won four races here Wednesday, giving him his first clear-cut lead of the fall meet.

Day won the first aboard Rosella ($4.60), the third on Honorable Peace ($2.80), the seventh on Aslaaf ($4.40), and the ninth on Onlycook Half Ofit ($5.60). He rode seven favorites on the card, including his four winners.

Day, who turned 49 last Sunday, had 16 wins through Wednesday, five more than his closest pursuer, Robby Albarado, who won the Keeneland spring riding crown. Edgar Prado, who rode here the first three days of the meet before returning to New York, jumped out to the early lead in the jockeys' race with eight winners.

McKee back from bans

Apprentice rider John McKee returned from a lengthy suspension Thursday when he rode for the first time at Keeneland. McKee, coming off riding titles at River Downs and Turfway Park, was scheduled to ride in three races.

McKee, 21, served two consecutive five-day suspensions for riding infractions at Turfway. He plans to ride at the Churchill Downs meet that begins Oct. 27, then will decide whether to return to Turfway or ride elsewhere during the winter.

* Trainer Kellyn Gorder, who won the Grade 2 Sunset Handicap at Hollywood Park in July with Grammarian, has accepted a newly created position with WinStar Farm in Lexington. Gorder, 35, will attend to a variety of duties on the farm, including prepping young horses for market, caring for lay-up and turn-out horses, and managing some of the breeding and active racing stock. Gorder recently served in a similar position for 505 Farms.