03/24/2005 12:00AM

Scipion fractures leg in workout


ARCADIA, Calif. - Scipion, the winner of last month's Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds, came out of a workout on Wednesday at Santa Anita with a fractured right hind cannon bone, his trainer, Patrick Biancone, said Thursday morning.

According to Biancone, Scipion suffered a non-displaced condylar fracture, which was to be repaired via surgery on Thursday at a nearby clinic operated by Dr. Vince Baker.

"We will operate and then go from there," said Biancone, who said Scipion would be out several months. "Fortunately, the break is non-displaced. It's nice and clear."

An A.P. Indy colt owned and bred by Virginia Kraft Payson, Scipion most recently finished sixth in the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds. His next scheduled start was the Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 9. He has won twice in six starts.

Roman Ruler's foot on mend

After trying to get by with a quarter-crack patch on Roman Ruler, Baffert finally gave up after last week's poor performance in the San Felipe Stakes. Earlier this week, the shoe was pulled off Roman Ruler in an attempt to cut out the infected portion of his ailing foot. What Baffert discovered left him queasy.

"It was all rotten and dead under there," Baffert said. "He kept getting abscesses in his coronet band. It was all dead underneath. It was all undermined. It'll heal up good now."

Baffert said Roman Ruler would recuperate at Santa Anita.

"He'll stay here," Baffert said. "We've got to watch him to make sure there's no infection."

Roman Ruler, a son of Fusaichi Pegasus, was making his 3-year-old debut in the San Felipe. His biggest wins last year came in the Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar and the Norfolk Stakes during Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.

Baffert has very little left among his 3-year-olds. His only active stakes-class runner is the recent purchase Sort It Out, who finished eighth of nine in the Louisiana Derby. He is scheduled to make his next start in the $500,000 WinStar Derby on April 2 at Sunland Park.

House of Fortune fortunate

House of Fortune, preparing for next month's Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park, narrowly avoided disaster while working at Santa Anita on Thursday morning.

House of Fortune had just turned into the stretch for the completion of a seven-furlong workout when a skittish 2-year-old, trained by Bob Baffert, dumped his exercise rider while in midstretch during a routine gallop. House of Fortune managed to avoid the loose horse and completed her work in 1:26.80.

"It was a good work, considering she was pulled up the last sixteenth of a mile," said Ron McAnally, who trains House of Fortune.

Fast and Furious getting ready

McAnally also is getting the stakes-class turf horse Fast and Furious ready for a return to action. Fast and Furious worked three furlongs on the turf on Wednesday in 36.80 seconds as he tries to come back from a foot injury.

"He missed a lot of time with a quarter crack," McAnally said. "He's doing good, but he won't make the meet here."

McAnally said noted blacksmith Ian McKinlay, who is based in New Jersey, worked on Fast and Furious during a recent trip West. "He did a marvelous job," McAnally said.

Practice makes perfect for Pedroza

Jockey Martin Pedroza has had great success in 2-year-old races over the years, most notably with trainer Wesley Ward, and they combined to win the first baby race of the year Wednesday with Storming Hun, a Devon's Lake filly who sped a quarter-mile in 21.63 seconds.

Pedroza said he believes he does well with young horses because he insists on working them at least once before they race in the afternoon.

"I like to work everything I ride," Pedroza said. "Once you ride them in the morning, you get along with them like an old horse in the afternoon. Every baby I'm put on, I've got to be on them in the morning."

Pedroza said he had worked Devon Lane out of the gate five days before her race. "I just let her pop out of there and then took a hold," he said. "She's a pretty gutsy little thing."

Handful of best riders gone

Several of Santa Anita's top riders are out of town Saturday.

Tyler Baze, Victor Espinoza, Alex Solis, and Patrick Valenzuela are riding on the Dubai World Cup card in the United Arab Emirates.

Rene Douglas and Gary Stevens are riding in the Lane's End Stakes at Turfway Park.

* Jockey David Cohen has been suspended for three days, beginning Saturday, for crossing over too soon and tightening up the field heading into the first turn while riding Valid's Valid in the fifth race Sunday. Valid's Valid finished seventh, but was not disqualified because the horses she bothered ended up finishing in front of her.

* Billy Koch, the head of the Little Red Feather Racing syndicate that won the Breeders' Cup Mile with Singletary, taped a commercial for the NTRA's "Greatest Game" promotion Thursday at Santa Anita. Koch was recently elected to the board of the Thoroughbred Owners of California.

* T.H. Approval, tuning up for the Grade 2, $200,000 San Luis Rey Stakes on Sunday, worked three furlongs in 35.80 seconds on Thursday morning for trainer Eduardo Inda.

* Popular owners Bob and Beverly Lewis will be the honored guests at a fund-raiser to benefit the Edwin Gregson Foundation April 11 at the Twin Palms restaurant in Pasadena. The Gregson Foundation provides scholarships for the children of backstretch workers. Tickets to the event can be obtained through the California Thoroughbred Trainers office at (626) 447-2145.