09/25/2008 11:00PM

Stardom Bound kicked by pony


ARCADIA, Calif. - Stardom Bound, the leading 2-year-old filly in California, escaped serious injury on Friday morning when she was kicked by a pony during training hours at Santa Anita, trainer Christopher Paasch said.

But the incident concerned Paasch enough that he was considering scratching Stardom Bound from Saturday's Oak Leaf Stakes and training her up to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies here on Oct. 24.

Paasch said that X-rays taken late Friday morning of Stardom Bound's right rear leg showed no injury.

"The X-rays were clean," Paasch said early Friday afternoon. "There was no damage. She did jog sound a little while ago. We're still concerned."

Paasch said bruising in the affected area, the inside of the filly's right rear leg, has subsided. Still, he listed her participation in the Oak Leaf as "50-50."

"I want to protect her," he said. "This is the nicest horse I've ever trained."

Owned by Charles Cono, Stardom Bound won the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante by 4 1/4 lengths on Sept. 1.

Ankle injury sidelines Monzante until 2009

Monzante, the winner of the Grade 1 Eddie Read Handicap at Del Mar in July, was turned out earlier this month after showing signs of an ankle injury, trainer Mike Mitchell said.

The injury was detected after Monzante finished fifth in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile on Aug. 24.

Mitchell said that Monzante will be pointed for a 2009 campaign. Earlier this year, Mitchell and owners Jay and Gretchen Manoogian and Scott Anastasi had hoped that Monzante would start in the Breeders' Cup Mile on Oct. 25.

"He came up with a little pressure on an ankle," Mitchell said. "I've been hard on him. We'll wait for next year.

"With the geldings like this, they're only worth what they can earn as a racehorse. When they have a problem, you have to turn them out."

Mitchell still has two hopefuls for the Breeders' Cup Marathon in Big Booster and Church Service. The $500,000 Marathon will be run at 1 1/2 miles on the synthetic main track.

Nakatani may miss Breeders' Cup

Jockey Corey Nakatani is expected to miss three to five weeks after suffering a broken collarbone in a spill on Wednesday, according to his agent, Ron Ebanks.

The injury threatens Nakatani's participation in the Breeders' Cup programs. Nakatani has won seven Breeders' Cup races in his career, most recently the 2006 Sprint with Thor's Echo. This year, Nakatani had hoped to ride Breeders' Cup races with horses such as the turf female Vacare, the sprinter In Summation, the 2-year-old filly Magic Roberta, and the turf horse Spring House.

Thursday, Ebanks said he thought Nakatani would probably get replaced on some of those mounts. "Chances are the clients will not wait around," he said of the owners and trainers that Nakatani rides for. "It's very unfortunate."

Nakatani was told by doctors on Thursday that he had a fractured clavicle. It is the second time this year that the 37-year-old jockey has suffered such an injury. He missed nearly two months in late winter and early spring after being injured in a spill during training hours at Hollywood Park.

Romance Is Diane could face males

Mitchell said on Friday that he is considering starting the 4-year-old filly Romance Is Diane against males in the $250,000 California Cup Classic on Oct. 5.

Romance Is Diane, 4, is winless in four starts this year, the most recent of which was a fourth in the Grade 2 Clement Hirsch Handicap at Del Mar on Aug. 2 behind the undefeated Zenyatta.

Mitchell said he is between the California Cup Classic and the California Cup Matron for Romance Is Diane, who has won 5 of 15 starts and $662,718.

"I'm looking at who's going in which races and the weights," Mitchell said.

Owned by Senji Nishimura, Romance Is Diane has won four stakes. At 2, she won the California Cup Juvenile and Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet. Last year, she won the California Cup Matron and Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap.

"She's run against some toughies," Mitchell said. "That Zenyatta, I'm tired of looking at her rear end."

Romance Is Diane is the only female among the 25 nominees for the California Cup Classic, the richest race on a program for statebreds. The Classic is expected to draw Add Heat, Any Wager, Cheroot, Mr. Chairman, Top This and That, and possibly Johnny Eves.

De La Torre draws six-month suspension

Los Alamitos-based trainer Jose De La Torre has been fined $20,000 and suspended for 180 days, effective Thursday, after two of his starters at that track in June tested positive for excessive levels of clenbuterol, according to a statement from the California Horse Racing Board.

Clenbuterol, a bronchial dilator used to aid horses with breathing problems, is allowed to appear in postrace tests at minute levels.

Earlier this year, De La Torre was fined $15,000 after six of his starters at Los Alamitos tested in excess of the permitted level of clenbuterol. Neither horse in the recent case won. Their portion of the purses was ordered redistributed.

The racing board has filed a complaint against Northern California-based trainer Steve Miyadi after one his starters at Cal-Expo in August tested in excess of the permitted level of the anabolic steroid stanozolol. A hearing in the case is scheduled before the Golden Gate stewards on Aug. 12.

Because the infraction took place before Sept. 4, Miyadi will receive, at most, an official warning for the presence of an excessive level of stanozolol. For steroid violations that occur in races since Sept. 4, the racing board has enacted tougher penalties, calling for fines and/or suspensions for trainers involved and the loss of purse.

- additional reporting by Brad Free