09/20/2007 11:00PM

Spill results in ruling of no contest

EmailPOMONA, Calif. – Jockey Jose Dominguez was still in pain Friday after being injured Thursday in a spill that forced stewards to declare race 6 no contest and refund wagers that totaled $440,341.

The unusual circumstances unfolded when Dominguez's mount, Irish Honor, clipped heels soon after the start of the 6 1/2-furlong race. Dominguez fell off and lay motionless just past the eighth pole.

As paramedics struggled to remove Dominguez from the track, the race continued. But as the field approached the far turn on the five-eighth-mile track, time was running out for paramedics to remove the fallen jockey.

Track steward Kim Sawyer, in radio contact with outrider Curly Ortiz, who was on the far turn, instructed Ortiz to warn the jockeys of impending danger as they raced past the quarter pole. The riders took hold, and eased their mounts through the stretch. Odds-on favorite Common Trust led throughout, but it did not matter.

Sawyer and stewards Tom Ward and Paul Nicolo, citing California Horse Racing Board Rule 1544, declared the race no contest. The rule states that in the case of "interference during the running of a race which affects the majority of horses in such race, the stewards may declare the race no contest."

Race 6 was the start of the pick six and pick three. Every horse used in those wagers was considered a "winner." However, there is inconsistency in rules regarding multi-race wagers, because the daily double that began in race 6 was refunded entirely. There was $11,896 in the daily double pool.

Because the race was considered no contest, there was no purse money awarded except the $400 participation bonus. There were no claims in the $5,000 claiming race; they would have been voided.

Dominguez, who rides at Los Alamitos and exercises horses for Bobby Frankel, was taken to Pomona Valley Medical Center for evaluation and released late Thursday evening. But on Friday he complained of neck pain and was in the process of scheduling an MRI.

Handle down, with reason

With only two pick six carryovers the first 12 days of the meet, handle at Fairplex Park was down more than 6 percent relative to the 2006 meet when a three-day carryover helped generate a $10 million handle the final Wednesday of the meet. The current average daily handle is $6.5 million.

Closing weekend historically produces the highest handle of the meet, and when the it ends on Monday, average handle will be roughly $7 million daily.

Men Only live in Governor's Cup

If the improving sprinter Men Only reproduces his Del Mar Polytrack form Sunday in the $65,000 Governor's Cup Handicap, the 5-year-old gelding can win the 6 1/2-furlong stakes, race 10 on the 13-race card.

Doug O'Neill trains Men Only, whose recent improvement coincided with a switch to Polytrack and a turnback to a sprint. So what is it - surface, or distance?

"He seems like a horse that is just getting better and better," O'Neill said. "We'll see what a move to conventional dirt will do, but he acts like a horse that will run equal to, or better, than [at Del Mar]."

If so, Men Only can win the Governor's Cup. He won a highly rated first-level allowance one start back, then finished second in a fast second-level allowance. Claimed in February for $25,000, the 5-year-old gelding will be ridden Sunday by David Flores.

The field for the Governor's Cup includes the 8-year-old Debonair Joe, who was a 2-year-old when he won his first stakes race at Fairplex Park in 2001. The gelding later scored a 26-1 upset in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita, and enters the Governor's Cup having won 9 of 48 starts.

Also in the Governor's Cup field are highweight C'Mon Tiger, My City by the Bay, Wind Water, and Foothill Stakes winner Prime Ruler.

My Redeemer, Enriquez steal Thursday's show

The 2-year-old My Redeemer and jockey Isaias Enriquez put on a show Thursday at Fairplex Park. Enriquez rode My Redeemer to a 16-length romp in the $64,000 Gateway to Glory Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile race that stamps the gelding as one of the favorites Nov. 3 in the $125,000 California Cup Juvenile.

The Gateway to Glory was the third of four wins Thursday for Enriquez, who swept the last three races and catapulted into fourth place in the Fairplex jockey standings. Enriquez has won 10 races from 65 mounts.

My Redeemer ($3) was stretching out for the first time. A son of Old Topper trained by O'Neill and owned by his breeder, Tommy Stull, he had a perfect trip under Enriquez.

"He relaxed beautifully, he took the turns beautifully, and he when he took off, it was 'see you later,' " Enriquez said.

It was the second win from six starts for My Redeemer, who was timed in 1:45.83 and earned an 82 Beyer Speed Figure.

* There will be no show wagering Sunday in race 1, a 350-yard race for mules in which Bar JF Hot Ticket and Sarah Nelson are the only two of the six starters with reasonable ability. The reason for the cancellation of show wagering is to prevent a minus pool, which happens when losing wagers are insufficient to pay off winning show bettors. The minimum show payoff is $2.10. Bar JF Hot Ticket (3-5 on the morning line) has finished in the money in 18 of 19 starts; Sarah Nelson (6-5) has finished in the money in 68 of 71 starts.

* Seven fillies and mares entered the $65,000 Bangles and Beads Stakes, which will be run Monday, closing day of the Los Angeles County Fair race meet. The 6 1/2-furlong stakes includes stakes winners Selvatica, Vikki's Honor, and Ashley's Kitty. Admission and parking are free on Monday.

* Fairplex will conduct three winner's circle ceremonies Sunday, honoring milestone achievements by three fair mainstays. Trainer Jerry Fanning will be formally inducted into the Fairplex Hall of Fame; jockey Martin Pedroza will be honored for his recent 500th win at Fairplex; and O'Neill will be honored for recently winning the 1,000th race of his career.