07/25/2002 11:00PM

Season over for Mizzen Mast


DEL MAR, Calif. - Mizzen Mast is finished for the year, trainer Bobby Frankel said Friday. The 4-year-old colt, winner of the Grade 1 Malibu and Grade 2 Strub during the winter meet at Santa Anita, was injured in a July 15 workout at Hollywood Park and will be sidelined until next season.

"It's not a major thing, and the vet even said we could go on with him, but it would be taking too much of a risk," Frankel said. He declined to be specific. "We're going to stop on him, give him plenty of time, and bring him back next year, probably get ready for summer."

Owned by Juddmonte Farms, Mizzen Mast has won 5 of 11, and was considered one of the country's leading older males. In future wagering on the Breeders' Cup Classic conducted July 4-7, Mizzen Mast closed as the 10-1 fourth choice in the betting. Street Cry was favored at 4-1, the field was 6-1, and Macho Uno closed at 8-1.

New workmen's comp deal expected

Two insurance companies are expected to present written offers for lowercost workmen's compensation insurance policies to California racing officials next week.

Ed Halpern, the executive director of the California Thoroughbred Trainers, said that the companies presented verbal proposals on Thursday and that formal, written offers were expected by Wednesday.

Since March, California trainers have seen workmen's compensation rates skyrocket - in some cases as much as double - after the last private companies left the market in February. In recent months, trainers have been forced to buy policies from the government-backed State Fund, which does not offer the same discounts as a private insurer.

Halpern declined to reveal the insurance companies that submitted the proposals, but said that rates would revert to 2001 levels.

The policies will be part of an industry-wide self-insurance policy that will draw monies from other sources in racing.

The program is contingent on pending legislation that would redirect monies from the state stabling and vanning fund and the California Marketing Committee to pay up to $5 million in premiums.

The bill is expected to be heard when the legislature reconvenes in early August. The legislation faces no opposition, Halpern said. In the interim, Halpern said he is optimistic that racetracks can provide a letter of credit that will enable the policies to start, possibly as early as mid-August.

Since insurance prices rose trainers have passed on the increases to owners through higher day rates.

"The rates should be back to where they were before March 1 and in some cases lower," Halpern said.

Arbiter may run in Del Mar Handicap

Arbiter may be pointed for the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap on Sept. 1 after lowering the course record for 1 3/8 miles on turf with a two-length win in an allowance race/optional claimer on Thursday.

Ridden by Mike Smith, Arbiter had an ideal trip on Thursday. He stalked pacesetter Komistar to the top of the stretch, and rallied wide to take the lead near the eighth-pole, finishing in 2:12.32. The previous record of 2:12.40 was set by Navarone in 1992.

"He was right where I wanted him to be - especially at the finish," trainer Craig Lewis said, jokingly.

Arbiter has won three of his last four starts and five of seven starts since being privately acquired by Sam and Carl Asadurian last year. The purchase was arranged by bloodstock agent Gary Rocks, a former trainer.

Lewis, who won with his first three runners at Del Mar, said the Escondido Handicap on Aug. 7 may arrive too quickly for Arbiter. The Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap is run over 1 3/8 miles on turf.

Jury Box gets new owners

Jury Box, an 11-length winner of a maiden race for California-breds at Hollywood Park on June 30, has been privately acquired by Clinton and Susan Atkins of Champaign, Ill.

The colt was previously owned by Bill Buster, Victor Hazard, and the Green Hill Stable, a partnership run by Ray Hussa and Tom Bell. The sale was finalized on Tuesday, Hussa said. He did not reveal the purchase price.

Jury Box, a California-bred colt by In Excess, will remain with trainer D. Wayne Lukas and is being pointed for Wednesday's $125,000 Graduation Stakes for state-breds over 5 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar.

The maiden win came in Jury Box's fourth start.

Let's not go to the videotape

There is no race replay program available during the Del Mar meeting on over-the-air television in the Los Angeles market after track management decided not to renew an arrangement with KDOC (Channel 56).

Del Mar marketing director Craig Dado cited costs associated with the KDOC program and a decision to expand programming via cable television and the track's website as reasons for the discontinuation.

The race replay program is available on Fox Sports Net and TVG. In addition, Dado said replays will be archived on the track's website.

"A couple of people from LA are disappointed, and we expected that," Dado said. "Even though it's an incredibly important market for us, we are in San Diego."

Peter Gibbs, the general manager of sales at KDOC, said the station intends to present race replay programs when racing returns to the Los Angeles area with the start of the Fairplex Park meeting on Sept. 13.

The race replay program has been a staple on KDOC since 1981, with the exception of two years in the late 1980's when Santa Anita switched stations.

* Squirtle Squirt, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Sprint last October, worked a half-mile in 47.40 seconds on Friday. He has not started since finishing second in the Palos Verdes Handicap at Santa Anita in January.

- additional reporting by Brad Free