01/27/2006 12:00AM

Sellers heading home to start new business


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Retired jockey Shane Sellers is preparing to move from Louisville back to his home state of Louisiana, where he will open a business for breaking and raising young horses.

Sellers, who last rode in October 2004 and officially retired last February, said he is several weeks away from moving to Coteau, La., just outside the larger town of New Iberia in the southern part of the state. Sellers, 39, initially attempted to start a breaking-and-boarding business on a farm near his home in the east end of Louisville but decided that Louisiana would afford him a better opportunity to become established.

"I was going to try to do it here," said Sellers from Kentucky, "but I'm on the outside of racing. It's a lonely feeling. I don't feel like I'm part of the game anymore, at least not here."

Indeed, Sellers was widely ostracized after assuming a key leadership role in the memorable jockey-insurance controversy that erupted in November 2004 at the Churchill Downs fall meet. Fourteen jockeys were banned from riding at that meet, and although some of those relevant issues have since been resolved, Sellers remains a pariah to many people in racing who believed he aggravated a tense situation.

"I've pretty much been sitting on my hands wondering what I'm going to do," he said Thursday. "Some friends convinced me that back home would be the right place to start over. I've got some people who have committed to send me horses, and hopefully I won't have much problem filling my 25 stalls.

"It'll be a learning process, but I've been around horses long enough that I've always felt I could evaluate a horse. I felt like more times than not I had the right opinion. This is something that I always felt I could do when my riding career ended, so I'm looking forward to getting started. This is the next chapter in my life."

The preceding chapters often were glorious and highly eventful ones. Sellers, a native of Erath, La., rode 4,069 winners in his 22-year career, with his mounts earning more than $122 million. He won riding titles at numerous tracks, including Churchill, Keeneland, Gulfstream Park, and Arlington Park. In his later years, he often was at the forefront of many jockeys' causes, and ultimately it was his penchant for being a crusader that helped bring his riding career to an end.

Sellers said his new business will be situated on a 25-acre farm with a racetrack, starting gate, and other amenities.

"I've got the right setup," he said.

Troilo out of action temporarily

Jockey Bill Troilo will be sidelined at least until Wednesday after suffering a recurrence of an old back injury last weekend at Turfway Park. Troilo, 44, underwent a magnetic resonance imaging examination Tuesday, and results are expected back Monday.

The injury comes at an inopportune time for Troilo, who has been riding for nearly 24 years. Into the Friday card, Troilo was in third place in the Turfway jockey standings with 14 wins, trailing only apprentice Julien Leparoux (39 wins) and Willie Martinez (17).

Troilo said he tweaked the back last Sunday. He intended to ride Wednesday but felt a sharp pain down his back and into his legs while warming up his first horse in the post parade. He then took off his mounts for the rest of the week.

* Churchill announced this week that the winning owner of the May 6 Kentucky Derby will receive a new International RXT Truck, a five-ton truck made by International Truck and Engine Corp. with a retail value of about $95,000.