06/04/2007 11:00PM

Ruis finds success after suspension


AUBURN, Wash. - Jockey Mick Ruis got off on the wrong foot at this meeting. He rode only two winners from his first 42 mounts at the stand, then he was suspended for six racing days for questionable rides on the Doris Harwood-trained Odessa Beach and the Steve Bullock-trained Fabadabado. When he left to visit family in California during his suspension, few expected him to return.

But Ruis did return. He was out every morning galloping horses for a week before he resumed riding May 28, and he has since booted home 7 winners from 21 mounts. He won five races last weekend, including Saturday's $53,775 Federal Way Handicap aboard Shampoo and Sunday's $50,738 Pepsi-Cola Handicap on Call On Carson.

The only cloud over Ruis' resurgence was that he picked up 4 of his 5 winners over the weekend, including his mounts in both stakes, from his good friend Kevin Radke, who was seriously injured in a freak accident Friday night. Radke's mount in the fifth race, an unstarted 3-year-old filly named Shady Unlimited, shied leaving the paddock, threw Radke into a cyclone fence, and then fell against the rider. Radke was taken to Auburn General Hospital, where he was diagnosed with eight broken ribs, a broken collarbone, a broken shoulder blade, and a slightly perforated lung.

"It's all a little bittersweet for me," said Ruis after winning the Pepsi-Cola. "I got the mounts, but my buddy got injured."

In a generous gesture, Ruis promised to give Radke half of his earnings from the mounts he picked up from his friend.

Harwood gives Ruis another mount

Perhaps the most telling sign that Ruis has been accepted back into the fold at Emerald was that he got the mount on Shampoo, who is trained by Doris Harwood. The trainer had vowed never to ride Ruis again after he pulled up Odessa Beach, who was favored at 4-5, early in the fourth race on April 27. Like many a trainer before her, Harwood relented.

"I just decided that everyone is entitled to make a mistake," Harwood said. "Mick is a talented rider and he had ridden this filly before, so he was the best choice to step in for Kevin. The last thing I said to Mick in the paddock, though, was that he owed me a good ride."

Ruis delivered, splitting rivals with the 3-5 Shampoo at the top of the lane before opening up two lengths with a furlong remaining. Shampoo then withstood the late bid of Zaylaway to prevail by a half-length in 1:15.20 for 6 1/2 furlongs.

The Federal Way was the second straight stakes win for Shampoo, a 3-year-old daughter of Gulch who races for Jerre Paxton's Northwest Farms. She is slated to go next in the $45,000 Irish Day Handicap at a mile on June 24.

Call on Carson overcomes stumble

Shampoo was the first two-time stakes winner at the current meet, and Call on Carson, who had posted a wire-to-wire win over Immigration in the six-furlong Auburn Stakes on May 13, became the second in Sunday's 6 1/2-furlong Pepsi-Cola Handicap.

Call on Carson, a 3-year-old son of Lord Carson from the barn of trainer Dan Markle, stumbled at the start after breaking from the inside post, conceding an uncontested lead to archrival Immigration. Call on Carson recovered quickly to gain a stalking position along the inside but Immigration looked a certain winner with a 1 1/2-length lead at the eighth pole. Call on Carson found another gear in the final sixteenth and got up to win by a half-length in 1:15.

"That was really an outstanding ride by Mick," Markle said. "After the horse slipped at the start, Mick had to do everything right to win. I was impressed with the ride, and I was impressed with the horse, too. Call on Carson showed a lot of courage today."

Call on Carson will be rematched with Immigration and Wild Cycle, who finished third in his first start of the year, in the $45,000 Tacoma Handicap at a mile on July 1.

Knight's Secret wins after 20-month layoff

Knight's Secret, who won an optional claiming event that went as Sunday's sixth race, has now posted back-to-back victories with six furlongs in 1:08 and 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:14.20. The double is more impressive since the two wins came 20 months apart.

Knight's Secret, a 5-year-old son of He's Tops who is trained by Sharon Ross for owner Leonard Strandley Jr., exited his impressive maiden win on Oct. 9, 2005, with a soft tissue injury to a front leg.

"We probably could have brought him back last year, but Sharon wanted to give him plenty of time and let him grow up," Strandley said. "That's the reason he came back to run the way he did. It's a real testament to Sharon. I'm just thankful that I have her as a trainer."

If Ross did right by Knight's Secret, so did Strandley. The owner raised Knight's Secret and he spent every day with the horse for the past 20 months. He admitted to being anxious to see his extremely promising runner race again, but he was glad that he waited.

"It was definitely worth the wait," he said. "This horse is very special."

Crispin gets four-day suspension

Jockey Joe Crispin has been suspended for four racing days, two days each for a pair of disqualifications last Thursday. Crispin will serve the two days for the first of his infractions Thursday and Friday. When he serves the final two days depends on whether he decides to appeal his second disqualification.

* Jockey Macario Rodriguez will begin riding regularly at Emerald Downs on Thursday. Rodriguez, a regular on the Northern California circuit in recent years, won the 2005 Tacoma Handicap here aboard Thirsty Guy's. For his career, Rodriguez has ridden 489 winners from 4,571 mounts for $8,268,785 in purse earnings. Agent Boone McCanna will book his mounts.