09/10/2003 12:00AM

Soto, 'Hombre' jump in to Super Derby


Three 3-year-olds were made late nominees to the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby: Soto, the undefeated West Virginia Derby winner; Grand Hombre, the undefeated Pennsylvania Derby winner who was recently purchased by Darley Stud; and Traffic Chief, who has won four of five career starts. In all, 12 horses remain eligible for the Sept. 20 race at Louisiana Downs, including Dynever, Eye of the Tiger, and Travers winner Ten Most Wanted.

To remain eligible for the Super Derby, a sustaining payment of $1,000 was due last Friday, while late nominees became eligible by paying a fee of $3,500. Nominations for the 1 1/8-mile race were released Wednesday.

Others who remain eligible are Inamorato, Tafaseel, and the first four finishers from the $50,000 Prelude Stakes at Louisiana Downs: Kool Humor, Zydeco Affair, Crowned King, and Taxi Cat.

Soto and Ten Most Wanted are both expected to start in the Super Derby. Soto, trained by Michael Dickinson, won his fifth consecutive race last out when he powered to a neck win over Dynever in the Grade 3, $600,000 West Virginia Derby.

Ten Most Wanted was a dominant 4 1/2-length winner of the Travers in his most recent start. He is trained by Wally Dollase.

Beau's Town preps for BC Sprint

Beau's Town is scheduled to work five furlongs at Louisiana Downs on Saturday in preparation for the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Oct. 25. The work will be the gelding's second since he won the Grade 2, $200,000 Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap at Del Mar in July.

After that race, Beau's Town was given a month's vacation. He will train up to the Breeders' Cup.

Beau's Town went four furlongs in 49 seconds in his first work back last Saturday. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:00.80, according to his trainer, Cole Norman.

"He galloped out strong and came out of the work fine," Norman said.

Beau's Town has won four of five starts this year, all stakes. He races for Dave Hulkewicz and Bobby Beck.

Retama announcer to call harness racing

John McGary, the announcer at Retama Park, has been hired as the full-time announcer for the Cal Expo harness meet in Sacramento, Calif. The meet is operated by Capitol Harness, and McGary will be taking over for longtime announcer Joe Alto, who has decided to retire. McGary will start work at Cal Expo at the end of September.

Because of his new schedule, McGary will be leaving the Retama meet early. He will call races only through Sept. 27 this year, but will return to the track full time in 2004. The dates structure next year at Retama meshes better with the schedule at Cal Expo, which runs a harness meet from late September to July.

Greg Wry, announcer at Yavapai Downs and The Downs at Albuquerque, will fill in for McGary at Retama during the final three weeks of the meet.

McGary, 38, previously called harness races at Pompano Park in Florida.

"Harness racing has posted significant gains the last couple of years, and I'm glad to be joining such a successful and prospering company," McGary said.

Pre-teen owner looks for second win

Abigail Smith will have to push the limits of her bedtime Friday night in order to see her horse Checotah Cowboy run in the third race at Remington Park. Smith, who is one of the youngest owners in Oklahoma at age 9, registered her first win last month when Checotah Cowboy won a maiden claimer on Aug. 29.

"It was pretty exciting," said Abigail, who visits Checotah Cowboy daily at Remington, where he is stabled with trainer Floyd Fenimore. The girl's mother bought Checotah Cowboy for her daughter for $1,400 as a yearling.

Fenimore, who was 3 for 3 at the meet going into the races Thursday night, has never trained for outside clients until taking on Abigail's horse. He is a friend of her family, and has given the mount on Checotah Cowboy to Greg Schaefer.

Oklahoma eliminated the minimum age requirement for owners a few years ago. The minimum age used to be 16.

Jockey leaves Retama for Hollywood

Jockey Ricky Frazier, who worked as the stunt double for actor Tobey Maguire in the movie "Seabiscuit," has left Retama for California. He will pursue film projects and ride at Fairplex, said Scott Hare, who worked as Frazier's agent at Retama.

Hare, who also represents Retama's leading rider, Jeremy Beasley, has started to book mounts for Kerwin Clark following the departure of Frazier. Clark won the Prelude on Kool Humor.

* Itsmybag, Kool K.J., and Forty Dolls are all stakes winners on dirt, but they are moving onto Leslie's Love's turf Friday in the featured 10th race at Louisiana Downs. Leslie's Love should rule as a strong favorite in the five-furlong grass race for statebred fillies and mares based on her Aug. 29 win against open-company allowance foes.

* Lone Star Park, which opens for 33 nights of Quarter Horse racing on Oct. 3, plans to offer 24 stakes, worth at total of more than $2.5 million, during the meet, which will run through Nov. 29. The $1 million Texas Classic Futurity on closing day is among the top offerings.