12/02/2005 12:00AM

Starlet field won't have Wild Fit


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Wild Fit, the runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Belmont Park on Oct. 29, has joined trainer Patrick Biancone's stable at Santa Anita but will not start in the Hollywood Starlet Stakes on Dec. 18, Biancone said.

Widely considered one of the top 2-year-old fillies in training, Wild Fit will be pointed for the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks on March 12, Biancone said.

Wild Fit was bought for $3 million at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale last month by bloodstock agent Demi O'Bryne, acting on behalf of John Magnier, Derrick Smith, and Michael Tabor.

"We sent her to the farm for a month," Biancone said. "The goal is for the big races next year, and the first goal is the Santa Anita Oaks."

Earlier this year, Wild Fit won the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante while trained by Jeff Mullins.

Without Wild Fit in the field, Balance, the winner of the Sharp Cat Stakes here on

Nov. 27, may go favored in the Starlet, which is run over 1 1/16 miles.

Other expected starters include Private World, the winner of the Moccasin Stakes on Nov. 20; Meetmeinthewoods, a maiden winner in her debut on Nov. 27; Sabatini, a maiden winner at Churchill Downs trained by Biancone; and Diplomat Lady, who won an allowance race for sprinters last month

Obstacles to installing Polytrack

Del Mar and Hollywood Park officials said late this week that they are unsure whether they will be able to install Polytrack in the next year, with the biggest issues being finding the material, cost, and time to complete the process.

At a California Horse Racing Board meeting Thursday, a group of trainers asked the board for support in urging racetracks to install Polytrack, a sand-based synthetic surface that is considered safer than a conventional surface.

The circuit has been plagued by numerous injuries in the recent weeks. On Friday, a starter was pulled up in the first race, and another was pulled up in the second.

Polytrack has been used for the last decade in England and has been used at Turfway Park in Kentucky since the summer.

Del Mar officials, who have actively explored using Polytrack over the last year, said they may know by mid-January whether they can install a new surface before the summer meeting begins in July, according to executive vice president Craig Fravel. The track must receive permission from the Coastal Commission and the San Diego County Fair Board before it is able to proceed.

Fravel said the track is taking a cautious approach. "We're just getting the final engineering documentation," he said. "In my mind, the worst you can do is cut corners. You only get one crack at this."

Hollywood Park president Jack Liebau said his track must acquire the "right kind of sand" to produce the Polytrack material. If Hollywood Park installs Polytrack for the fall 2006 meeting, the track would need to shut down for training for several weeks. The track is scheduled to be open throughout 2006 for training; Santa Anita is scheduled to be closed next summer to undergo maintenance.

"There are so many variables, including the cost," Liebau said Friday.

Liebau said the project has a minimum cost of $5 million for Hollywood Park.

Thursday, Liebau told the CHRB, "We accept that Polytrack is the answer."

T. H. Approval gets back to work

T. H. Approval, the winner of the San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap at Santa Anita last April, has returned to training after being given several months off, trainer Eduardo Inda said.

"He should be ready in February, just in time for one or two races before the San Juan," Inda said. "We're going for a second Capistrano."

T. H. Approval, 4, has not started since finishing second in the Sunset Handicap at Hollywood Park in July.

"He was body sore," Inda said. "He put some weight on and he grew a little too. I'm happy with the way he looks."

Espinoza won't go to Hong Kong

Jockey Victor Espinoza will not travel to Hong Kong next weekend, but will remain in California, said his agent, Tony Matos.

Espinoza will ride Preachinatthebar in the Native Diver Handicap on Dec. 10, Matos said. Espinoza was booked to ride in an international jockey challenge in Hong Kong and ride Designed for Luck in the Hong Kong Mile next weekend.

Edgar Prado has replaced Espinoza.

Mandella stable gets Prospect Park

Prospect Park, a French stakes winner in 2004 and 2005, has joined trainer Richard Mandella's stable.

Owned by the Wertheimer Family, Prospect Park, 4, is not expected to start until the spring, Mandella said.

"He just came in, got here on Monday," he said. "He looks like he needs a little break. He'd probably be ready at the end of the Santa Anita meeting and come back in the spring."

Prospect Park was second in the 2004 French Derby. He won a Group 3 race in France in September, but was 11th in the Group 1 Champion Stakes in England in October.

Valenzuela sits out second straight day

Jockey Patrick Valenzuela took off his mounts for the second consecutive day on Friday, citing illness. According to his agent Tom Knust, Valenzuela has been battling flu this week.

Through Thursday, Valenzuela had eight wins at this meeting, leaving him in a tie for fifth in the standings.