08/20/2003 11:00PM

Samyn needs leg surgery after spill


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Jockey Jean-Luc Samyn was scheduled to have surgery on Friday morning for a fracture in his right leg, suffered when his mount clipped heels in Wednesday's seventh race.

Samyn, 46, wasn't believed to be seriously injured when he was initially examined by the first-aid doctors at the track after his mount, Vinthea, stumbled and dropped him while in traffic at the top of the stretch.

But when Samyn was getting ready to leave the first-aid area early Wednesday evening, he found himself unable to bear weight on the injured leg. X-rays taken at Saratoga Hospital revealed a crack in the femur.

Samyn was transported by ambulance Thursday to the Hospital of Special Surgery in New York City for the operation. He said his doctors at Saratoga Hospital believed that the fracture would require screws and perhaps a plate to repair the damage.

"It was a pretty good break; a complex break above the knee," Samyn said before leaving Saratoga. "It might cost me a couple of months, but I will have to see what the doctors say in New York."

The timing of the injury couldn't have been worse for Samyn, who earlier in the meet won the Grade 1 Sword Dancer on Whitmore's Conn. Samyn was named on three horses in stakes on Saturday: Cozzy Corner in the $200,000 Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup; Union Place in the $200,000 Fourstardave; and Private City in the $200,000 King's Bishop.

The biggest blow for Samyn is that he will miss riding Shine Again in Sunday's $250,000 Ballerina as the mare goes for her third consecutive victory in the Grade 1 race. Samyn has ridden the 6-year-old in 26 of her 31 career starts.

Allen Jerkens, Shine Again's trainer, replaced Samyn with Jose Santos. Jerkens, who has had a long working relationship with Samyn, said he felt sorry for the injured rider.

"I'm disappointed for [Samyn] because he loves Shine Again and gallops her every day," Jerkens said. "He's always talking to her."

Empire Maker versus Mineshaft?

If, as expected, trainer Bobby Frankel scratches Empire Maker from Saturday's Travers Stakes, he said he would point the Belmont Stakes winner to the Grade 1, $500,000 Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park on Sept. 6. That would mean a match-up with Mineshaft, winner of the Pimlico Special and Suburban, who is considered one of the top handicap horses in the country.

Neil Howard, the trainer of Mineshaft, said he wouldn't necessarily look forward to running against Empire Maker, but he wouldn't duck him, either.

"I knew it was too good to be true for Frankel not to be in there with anything," Howard said, alluding to the fact that Frankel opted to ship Medaglia d'Oro to the Pacific Classic rather than run him in the Woodward. "I wouldn't trade places with anybody, but there's a nice group of horses out there.

"He's a hell of a horse," Howard said of Empire Maker. "I don't take any horse lightly, especially those kind of horses."

Trust N Luck has minor injury

Trust N Luck, who was being pointed to Saturday's Grade 1 King's Bishop, was kept out of the race because of a minor injury.

Ralph Ziadie, Trust N Luck's trainer, did not reveal what kind of injury the horse suffered.

"He'll be laid up for a little while," Ziadie said from Florida on Thursday morning. "We're playing it by ear right now."

Ziadie said Trust N Luck, who worked over Saratoga's main track on Monday, would return to Florida at the end of the month. In his last start, Trust N Luck finished third in the Grade 2 Amsterdam. In February, Trust N Luck won the Grade 1 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park.

She's Got the Beat finds her rhythm

After a pair of runner-up finishes in graded races, She's Got the Beat found the right spot for a win in a $58,000 allowance race that served as the feature on Thursday's card in the absence of a stakes.

John Velazquez replaced Samyn on She's Got the Beat, the 4 1/4-length winner.

Pocus Hocus, Forest Secrets, and Happily Unbridled completed the order of finish in the 1 1/8-mile race. She's Got the Beat ($3.70) covered the distance in 1:50.17 over a fast track.

She's Got the Beat's trainer, Phil Johnson, said he might look for a stakes for the New York-bred's next start.

"I'd like to win a graded stakes, even if it's a Grade 3," said Johnson, who trains She's Got the Beat for Elizabeth Walsh.

She's Got the Beat finished second behind Summer Colony in the Grade 2 Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup at Monmouth Park in June and then was a well-beaten second to Sightseek in last month's Grade 1 Go for Wand Handicap.

Evening Attire needs surprise storm

Evening Attire is entered main-track-only in Saturday's Fourstardave, but it looks unlikely that a surface switch will take place because the weather forecast is calling for clear skies on Saturday. Earlier at the Saratoga meet, Evening Attire won an off-the-turf allowance race.

Evening Attire's trainer, Pat Kelly, said he doesn't know where the gelding will run if he doesn't get the chance to run Saturday. One thing that seems certain is that Kelly isn't interested in running Evening Attire in the Woodward.

"I haven't got a Plan B, but I'm not going back to a one-turn mile and an eighth against Mineshaft," Kelly said. "I've already tried that. It's two turns for [Evening Attire]."

A spot that could fit Kelly's criteria is the $750,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup, a 1 1/4-mile race on Sept. 28.

Whitmore's Conn drills half-mile

In his first work since winning the Sword Dancer on Aug. 9, Whitmore's Conn covered a half-mile in 50.87 seconds over the Oklahoma turf on Thursday.

Whitmore's Conn's trainer, Randy Schulhofer, is looking at two Grade 1's at Belmont Park, the $500,000 Man o' War Sept. 6 and the $750,000 Turf Classic Invitational on Sept. 27.

Schulhofer said the Breeders' Cup Turf on Oct. 25 at Santa Anita is an unlikely race for Whitmore's Conn.

"I'm not at all interested," Schulhofer said. "The course there is completely against his style of running."

- If either Pat Day (Ten Most Wanted) or Jerry Bailey (Empire Maker or Peace Rules) takes Saturday's Travers, the winner would vault into a four-way tie for the most Travers wins by a jockey. Eddie Arcaro, Braulio Baeza, and Jimmy McLaughlin each have won four.

- After working Dynever a half-mile in 51 seconds over the Oklahoma training track on Thursday, trainer Christophe Clement confirmed that he would run next in the $750,000 Pennsylvania Derby at Philadelphia Park.

- additional reporting by David Grening