03/26/2007 11:00PM

Teen taking on the Western world


ARCADIA, Calif. - It is a long way from the five-eighths-mile track at Fonner Park to Santa Anita, but for apprentice jockey Dylan Williams, now is the right time for the move. The lanky 16-year-old arrived Monday from Nebraska, and he begins riding regularly this week at Santa Anita. Williams, whose agent is Jim Pegram, will be the only apprentice riding regularly in Southern California.

It did not take long for Williams to make a splash at Fonner Park, where he won with 23 percent of his mounts (27 of 117) and ranked second in the standings. Not bad for a guy who rode his first race Feb. 9.

"Those Nebraska horses taught me a lot," Williams said. "It's nice to come to a bigger track. I'm used to riding on a five-eighths track."

Williams worked his first horse at Santa Anita on Tuesday.

"It's going to be different," he said, "better riders and better horses." Williams, who is 5-foot-8 and tacks 108 pounds, is the son of veteran jockey R.D. Williams. Williams was scheduled to ride Commander Gary in race 8 on Wednesday, and he was named on Callmeluckylucy in race 3 on Thursday.

Apprentice rider Joe Talamo is named on horses Thursday in races 5, 7 and 8. Talamo is in California only temporarily.

Headley has partner in hot filly

In the three weeks since a spectacular debut by Magnificience, owner-trainer Bruce Headley said he has received substantial offers for the 3-year-old filly. But, he said, "I love horses more than money."

When Magnificience makes her second start, however, in the Grade 3 Santa Paula Stakes on Sunday, Headley may not be listed as the sole owner.

While declining to elaborate, Headley admitted he has at least one partner in the filly. He declined to specify when the ownership share in Magnificience was sold, before or after her debut. Headley also declined to reveal the identity of his associates. The only known facts are that Magnificience overcame trouble and ran quickly in her March 11 debut under Alex Solis.

She broke slowly, raced greenly, circled the field on the turn, and won geared down by 6 1/2 lengths in 1:15.62 for 6 1/2 furlongs. The final time translated to a Beyer Speed Figure of 96. Headley said Magnificience will race this spring in California, while Santa Anita Oaks runner-up Silver Swallow also will stay home. Silver Swallow will run April 8 in the Grade 3 Providencia for 3-year-old fillies at a mile on turf. Headley said neither Magnificience nor Silver Swallow is under consideration for the Kentucky Oaks.

In the 6 1/2-furlong Santa Paula on Sunday, Magnificience is expected to meet runaway allowance winner Coco Belle and Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes winner Jump On In. Both are trained by John Sadler.

Foxysox okay after losing shoe

Foxysox figured to need a start when she returned as the topweight Sunday in the Grade 2 Santa Ana Handicap, her first race since Dec. 3. The layoff was necessitated by an abscess in her right front foot, and the only thing trainer Carla Gaines could do was give Foxysox time.

Then the gates opened Sunday for the Santa Ana, and it did not get any better. Foxysox finished last of seven.

"She bobbled a little bit at the start, and ran the entire race without her right front shoe," Gaines said.

A blown shoe can never be good, particularly when the foot is already problematic. The good news is the mishap is not expected to set back Foxysox, who will make her next start at Hollywood Park. Foxysox is a graded stakes winner on both surfaces at Hollywood - Cushion Track and the turf - so Gaines and owner Warren Williamson have options with the 4-year-old filly.

Phar to Win getting stakes spot

Even after Phar to Win won a $40,000 starter handicap Sunday - his sixth win from eight starts - trainer Ray Bell admits, "I don't know how good he is." The answer will come soon enough, because Phar to Win has earned his way to his first stakes, the $150,000 Khaled Stakes for California-breds on April 29 at Hollywood Park.

The Khaled was won last year by Lava Man, who is not expected to run in the 1 1/8-mile race this year. That's good news for Phar to Win, who keeps rolling along.

Phar to Win was ridden Sunday by Jon Court, who was presented the George Woolf Memorial Award that day. Bell said, "I was happy for him to ride a winner on his day."

Phar to Win was sired by Avenue of Flags and produced by Doucette, a mare Bell and owners Robert and Betty Irvin imported from Ireland. "That's where he gets his stamina," Bell said of Phar to Win.

Doucette has produced three foals, and all have won. The others are claiming-caliber runners Too Phar and Tectite.

Espinoza has busy itinerary

Victor Espinoza will be out of town the next three Saturdays for 3-year-old stakes races. He rides Stormello this Saturday in the Florida Derby, Cobalt Blue on April 7 in the Illinois Derby, and agent Tony Matos said Espinoza has picked up Louisiana Derby runner-up Ketchikan for the Arkansas Derby April 14 at Oaklawn Park.