04/20/2006 11:00PM

Sutherland makes late run

Bill Schild Photography
Jockey Chantal Sutherland has 9 recent wins - and several photo shoots.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Chantal Sutherland knew winning races would not be an easy task here this winter, competing against a jockey colony that included many of the best riders in the world. But she was also hopeful that once the majority of the big-name riders headed north immediately after Florida Derby Day, she'd be able to take advantage of the opportunities that would present themselves during the latter stages of the meet.

Her judgement proved correct on both counts.

Sutherland registered eight wins during the opening three months of the meet, but has posted nine more victories and ridden winners at nearly a 20 percent clip since April 1, including back-to-back tallies on the turf aboard Faulkwood Shores and Red Cypress on Wednesday.

Sutherland has decided to remain in south Florida an extra week following the conclusion of the Gulfstream session on Sunday, accepting mounts at Calder before departing for New York to be on hand for the opening of Belmont Park's spring-summer session on May 3.

"I knew it would be tough here during the winter, but I'm happy with the way things have really picked up lately," said Sutherland. "I've got mounts lined up at Calder for trainers Kathleen O'Connell, Mike McDonald, and Bobby Hale and a call on Gigawatt in a stakes next Saturday, so it should be worth it to for me to hang around for another week. After all, I have to pay my taxes. But I've already hired an agent, Joe Griffen, for when I get to New York, and I plan to be there when Belmont opens."

Sutherland has also kept plenty busy off the track this winter, serving as a spokeswoman for Gulfstream Park as well as doing photo shoots for several magazines, including a major spread in the March edition of Vogue. She will also appear in an upcoming edition of People.

"I enjoy doing all the extra stuff, and I've already renewed my contract with Gulfstream for next season, although I'm not sure right now if I'll be riding here, too," said Sutherland. "Hopefully things will go well for me when I get back to New York, and if they do, it might be a better idea to stay at Aqueduct to ride next winter."

DeCarlo to sub for Velazquez

Jockey Chris DeCarlo had his itinerary change suddenly because of the injury suffered by his colleague and friend John Velazquez at Keeneland on Thursday. DeCarlo was named on two horses on Sunday's closing-day program at Gulfstream, after which he planned to take things easy before heading to New Jersey for the opening of the Monmouth Park meet on May 13.

Instead, DeCarlo will take off his mounts here Sunday and fly to Keeneland, where he will replace Velazquez aboard four horses for trainer Todd Pletcher, including Dyna's Destiny in the $100,000 Appalachian Stakes.

"Right now all I know is I'm going to Keeneland to ride for Todd on Sunday," DeCarlo said Friday. "After that I'm not sure what will happen."

DeCarlo has been Pletcher's second-call rider behind Velazquez since the 2005 Gulfstream meet.

Turf-heavy card on closing day

Weather permitting, 14 of the last 18 races at the meet will be decided on the turf, including the final eight events on Sunday's nine-race card.

Sunday's $37,000 allowance feature drew a field of eight mid-priced optional claiming and allowance horses going a mile on the turf. Unbridels King, Saturday Deelites, Prince Alphie, and Giant Wrecker top a lineup that also includes Pitchnicholas, Renard Bleu, Captain Lindsay, and Hostile Witness.

No clockers for morning works

Even though the meet does not end until Sunday and the track will remain open for training through next week, there have been no clockers on the grounds to record morning workouts since April 16. Track president Scott Savin declined to comment about the situation.

Mia's Hope, dam of Hal's Hope, dies

Mia's Hope, one of the leading broodmares in Florida, died following surgery to repair a broken leg she suffered recently on the farm in Ocala. She was 14.

Mia's Hope was the dam of two-time Grade 1 winner Hal's Hope, as well as multiple stakes winners Mia's Reflection and Hal's Image. She was also a four-time stakes winner during her racing career, the most notable of those wins coming at Gulfstream in 1999 in the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss and Grade 3 Davona Dale stakes.

"She broke her leg out in the field, and the surgery to repair the injury was a success," said Barry Rose, whose late father, Hal Rose, bred and owned Mia's Hope. "But when she came out of the anesthesia and tried to get back up, she rebroke it, and we had no choice but to put her down."