07/23/2004 11:00PM

Solis cracks vertebra and ribs in spill


DEL MAR, Calif. - Jockey Alex Solis will not ride until at least September after suffering a cracked vertebra and three cracked ribs in a one-horse spill at Del Mar on Friday.

The immediate impact of the injury will prevent Solis from riding top handicap horse Pleasantly Perfect in the $250,000 San Diego Handicap next Sunday. Solis was aboard Pleasantly Perfect for wins in the Breeders' Cup Classic last October and the $6 million Dubai World Cup in March.

Solis, 40, will likely have surgery, according to his agent, Scotty McClellan.

"It looks like he will have surgery to support that area," McClellan said. "If he doesn't have it and wears a brace and it doesn't heal properly, you could go through the same procedure in six months only it would be more serious."

McClellan would not estimate how long Solis would be sidelined.

"The doctors didn't say how long but it's a substantial amount of time," McClellan said. "He won't ride through this meeting."

McClellan said Solis suffered the injury to his fifth vertebra.

The accident occurred in early stretch of Friday's third race, a one-mile race for $28,000 to $32,000 claimers. Solis was aboard Golden K K who appeared to clip heels when Vegas Folly, ridden by Javier Santiago, drifted in. Golden K K fell, throwing Solis to the ground. Solis quickly scrambled under the rail. He was taken from the track on a stretcher and transferred to Scripps Hospital in La Jolla. Golden K K was not injured. She was claimed by trainer Barry Abrams.

Solis finished fourth in the jockey standings at Hollywood Park this summer with 40 wins despite taking numerous trips to ride in major stakes around the country. He led all riders in stakes wins with 12. Last year at Del Mar, Solis finished third in the standings with 34 wins.

Aside from Pleasantly Perfect, Solis's top mounts in recent months have included leading sprinter Pico Central, the 3-year-old filly House of Fortune, the turf female Light Jig, and the older mare Victory Encounter.

Solis's replacement to be determined

Trainer Richard Mandella said he has not decided who will replace Solis on Pleasantly Perfect. Mandella said he intended to visit Solis in the hospital on Saturday evening.

"I haven't had time to figure anything out," he said.

The Grade 2 San Diego Handicap over 1 1/16 miles is a prep to the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 22, Mandella's goal for Pleasantly Perfect this summer.

The San Diego will have a small field. As of Saturday, the other probable starters were Choctaw Nation, During, Reba's Gold and Taste of Paradise, the defending champion.

Last year, Taste of Paradise was co-owned by David Bloom and Keith Abrahams and trained by John Sadler.

In January, Bloom bought Taste of Paradise for $425,000 to dissolve the partnership.

A 5-year-old horse, Taste of Paradise started twice for trainer Jay Robbins in March and once for Mike Stidham in Texas in April before being sent to current trainer Molly Pearson.

Pearson said she has trained for Bloom in recent years at Turf Paradise in Phoenix.

Taste of Paradise has made two starts for Pearson. He won the Ack Ack Handicap at Hollywood Park on May 31 and finished sixth in the Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Handicap. Taste of Paradise had an excuse in his last race, Pearson said.

"He didn't finish like he did the race before and when he came back his head was full of mucus," Pearson said.

On Saturday, Taste of Paradise worked six furlongs in 1:11.60, the fastest of 12 recorded works at the distance.

Taste of Paradise was ridden by Jon Court, who will have the mount in the San Diego. Taste of Paradise will set the pace.

"Hopefully, we can regain the title," Pearson said. "Outside of Pleasantly Perfect, it's a wide open race and there is not a lot of speed in there."

Notably absent from the San Diego Handicap will be Domestic Dispute, the winner of the Strub Stakes at Santa Anita in February. Owners David Bienstock and Chuck Winner and trainer Paddy Gallagher had made the San Diego Handicap a summer goal for Domestic Dispute following his sixth-place finish in the Dubai World Cup.

Gallagher said Domestic Dispute will be pointed for the $200,000 Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap over seven furlongs on Aug. 15.

"He lost a little weight after Dubai," Gallagher said. "It will take three weeks longer than I thought to be ready."

Boomzeeboom euthanized

Boomzeeboom, the winner of the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park on

June 19, was euthanized on Saturday after suffering a cannon bone injury during a workout, trainer Vladimir Cerin said.

Owned by a partnership, Boomzeeboom was training for a potential start in the $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap at Monmouth Park on Aug. 8. He had run third in the Grade 2 Swaps Breeders' Cup Stakes at Hollywood Park on July 10 in his most recent start.

"This is really hard to take," Cerin said.

Boomzeeboom won 3 of 10 starts and $190,096. Aside from his win in the Affirmed Handicap, the Explosive Red colt made two other stakes appearances, finishing 14th in the Grade 2 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland in April and seventh in the Grade 3 Will Rogers Stakes on turf at Hollywood Park on May 22.

Virus kills Devious Boy

Devious Boy, a top 3-year-old on turf last summer and fall, died in May as a result of a virus, owner Jim Vreeland said.

Devious Boy won a division of the Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar and the Oak Tree Derby at Santa Anita and was second in the Del Mar Derby and La Jolla Handicap. A gelding, Devious Boy was trained by Kathy Walsh.

He was being given a break in May when he was stricken by a virus, Walsh said.

Vikki Kitchingman, 34, dies after illness

Vikki Kitchingman, the wife of trainer Adam Kitchingman, died Friday after a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 34.

Vikki Kitchingman was involved in several aspects of racing. She worked for Andy Havens Bloodstock at horse sales in Southern California, owned horses campaigned by her husband, and worked as an exercise rider at Southern California tracks.

Services are scheduled for Tuesday.