11/29/2008 12:00AM

Snow Cone back on favorite course


MIAMI - Snow Cone, among the top 3-year-old turf horses here last season with trainer Marty Wolfson, was back on the track Saturday morning but this time sporting the saddle towel of trainer Joe Orseno.

Snow Cone worked an easy half-mile over the main track in 1:03.40 here Saturday in preparation for her appearance in next Saturday's Grade 3 My Charmer Stakes.

"The Live Oak people sent her to me this spring at Monmouth Park," explained Orseno, who has a full barn of 26 horses bedded down at Gulfstream Park and another 10 stalls at Calder. "She's the type of filly who needs to get a good trip, and unfortunately that was not the case in several of her stakes races in New Jersey. She finally won a three-other-than allowance race that was like a stakes, but had some bad luck again in her last couple of starts before shipping south."

Orseno, who won five races on a single card at Gulfstream in early April, is eager to get Snow Cone back over her favorite surface for the My Charmer. Snow Cone has already won three races over the Calder turf course, including a pair of stakes. She also was second in the 2007 Calder Oaks.

"I thought she really worked well this morning, we let her really gallop out and she wasn't blowing afterwards," Orseno said. "She's doing real well and coming up to a big race, and I'm looking forward to getting her back over this turf course again."

Orseno said Carlos Marquez will ride Snow Cone in the My Charmer.

"She'll probably go back home to the farm after this race, since there's not much for her here the rest of the meet," Orseno said. "If they don't decide to breed her then she'll get a breather over the winter before returning to training."

Cruz takes lead in jockey standings

The inevitable finally happened here Thursday, when reigning Tropical at Calder champion Manoel Cruz overtook Paco Lopez to take the lead in the jockey standings for the current session, which ends Jan. 2. With Lopez banned for the rest of the season, Cruz will have to fend off Elvis Trujillo to defend his title. Trujillo, who won the 2007 Calder title but was a regular on the Monmouth circuit this summer, moved into third in the standings with two winners on Friday's card.

Eduardo Nunez was the star Friday, winning three straight races including a victory aboard Saratoga Matt in the afternoon's main event.

Rivera recovering from injuries

Trainer Bill White reported that exercise rider James Rivera, who was seriously injured in a training mishap here last Tuesday, was improving. Rivera was working a 2-year-old filly for White when the horse broke down suddenly turning into the stretch.

"Jimmy hit the ground hard and violently, which kinked his spinal cord," White said. "The good news is that his spinal cord wasn't severed and that there was no fracture, and his prognosis is actually pretty good. For the first two days, he couldn't move anything, but he has already gained some limited control of his upper and lower extremities."