01/12/2005 12:00AM

Top jockeys nearing their returns


ARCADIA, Calif. - The Southern California jockey colony is about to get awfully crowded. Pat Valenzuela was issued a conditional license and is scheduled to resume riding Saturday, and Alex Solis and Corey Nakatani are also gearing up for comebacks.

Solis, who has not ridden since July 23, expects to be cleared by doctors on Jan. 20, and his agent, Scotty McClellan, said Solis would start working horses Jan. 21 and return to riding soon thereafter. "He's been on his exercise horse, and he feels great," McClellan said. Solis suffered a broken vertabrae July 23 at Del Mar and has not ridden since. Solis, 40, has been the leading rider at all five major meets in Southern California.

Nakatani has not ridden since Dec. 20 at Hollywood Park and is serving a 30-day suspension (Dec. 26 through Feb. 3) for an incident that occurred during the 2003-2004 winter meet. Kerwin John also is ready for a comeback. He suffered a fractured pelvis in a workout incident on Nov. 15 at Santa Anita. John was expected to receive medical clearance Wednesday and said he hoped to be back exercising horses Thursday.

Track to add races occasionally

Santa Anita will not run a "make-up" day for the eight races that were canceled Sunday because of track condition. General manager George Haines, however, said the track will run extra races over the duration of the meet to offset lost business. "We'll pick them up by adding an occasional race," Haines said. Terms of the Santa Anita meet license allow the track to run an average of 8.6 races per day over the 85-day meet.

Track officials had not tabulated lost revenue as of Wednesday. Attendance on Sunday was 5,138.

"The one thing that was unusual was that the people that were here stayed," Haines said, referring to the days when racing was canceled. "There was no mass exodus. A lot of people stayed and bet the simulcast races."

Ontrack handle Sunday was slightly more than $1 million. It included betting on one live race, nine from Golden Gate, and 23 out-of-state races.

Trainer cites recent Kirkendahl work

When he runs Saturday in the Grade 2 San Rafael Stakes, the workout line for Kirkendahl will show his last published work was on Dec. 26. According to Ted West, who trains Kirkendahl with his son Ted H. West, Kirkendahl worked five furlongs on Jan. 6. West said the five-furlong workout was not reported by track clockers.

"I got him in 1:01, which was a really good work," West said. "And the best part of it was he went the last eighth in 11-and-two."

Kent Desormeaux was up for the work, and he will ride Kirkendahl in the San Rafael. The field for the $150,000 San Rafael, a one-mile race, is expected to include Chips Are Down, Dover Dere, Iced Out, Going Wild, and Spanish Chestnut.

House of Fortune works six furlongs

Morning workouts resumed under clear skies Wednesday at Santa Anita, and trainer Ron McAnally wasted no time sending House of Fortune out for a six-furlong move. A graded-stakes-winning filly, House of Fortune will train up to the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff on Jan. 29 and worked six furlongs on a "good" track in 1:13.

"With the [wet] track, we couldn't run her," McAnally said. "One of the few bad races she ran was on a muddy track in the Kentucky Oaks."

McAnally said Northern Mischief will run Monday in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez at seven furlongs. She worked five furlongs Wednesday in 1:00. Probables for the Santa Ynez include Classic Elegance, No Bull Baby, She Sings, and Hot Attraction. Hot Attraction worked five furlongs Wednesday at Hollywood Park in 59.80.

Day's fastest work goes to A.P. Adventure

A.P. Adventure turned in a typically fast workout Wednesday at Hollywood Park, working five furlongs in 58.60. The work was the fastest of the day by one and one-fifth seconds, and it was nothing new. A.P. Adventure has a history of fast workouts and will among the favorites Sunday in the Grade 2 El Encino Stakes. A 1 1/16-mile race for 4-year-old fillies, the El Encino will also include A Song In a Minor, Girl Warrior, Penny's Fortune, Susan's Angel, and Amorama.

Action This Day preps for San Fernando

Action This Day whistled three furlongs Wednesday at Santa Anita in a bullet 34.20 and will run Saturday in the Grade 2 San Fernando, the second leg of the Strub Series for 4-year-olds. Other expected starters include El Don, Harvard Avenue, Imperialism, Minister Eric, Perfect Moon, Sinister G, Skipaslew, and Mass Media.

Mass Media finished fifth as the 7-5 favorite Dec. 26 in the Grade 1 Malibu. "He hopped in the air at the start, and I don't think he was comfortable inside those other horses," said trainer Bobby Frankel, adding that he would breeze Mass Media a half-mile Thursday. "I haven't trained him much, so it's hard to judge [his fitness]."