12/12/2002 12:00AM

Training races return at Fairplex


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Fairplex Park will host training races on Jan. 20, hoping to revive a long dormant method of readying horses for racing at Southern California tracks.

The training races are scheduled for about four furlongs, a distance that Fairplex Park offered only occasionally during its September fair meeting.

The races will be open to 3-year-olds and up and could become a regular feature if demand is high enough, track officials said.

Fairplex Park racing secretary Dick Wheeler said it is too early to gauge interest, but said, "I've had a lot of people ask about it. It's our way of letting people know that Fairplex is open for training."

Wheeler said training races were last run at Hollywood Park in the early 1980's.

Track officials are hoping that horsemen use the training races as a way to prepare horses for races.

"It gives them a chance to get experience away from the gate," Wheeler said.

George Bradvica, the equine manager at Fairplex Park, said the Los Angeles County Fair Association is planning other events on Jan. 20 in conjunction with the training races. During the same week, Barretts Equine is conducting a winter mixed sale on the fairgrounds and the sale horses will be available for inspection on Jan. 20.

Ultimately, Fairplex Park is hoping the training races will lead to more horses being trained at the five-furlong track.

Delahoussaye still recuperating

Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye, who has not ridden since Aug. 30 following the effects of injuries sustained in a spill at Del Mar, said Wednesday that he is uncertain if he will be able to return to riding.

Delahoussaye suffered neck and back injuries and a concussion in the one-horse spill.

Although he is hoping to return, Delahoussaye, 51, has not been given approval from doctors. Earlier this fall, Delahoussaye was hoping that his doctors would clear him to begin riding at the upcoming Santa Anita winter-spring meeting, but that did not occur this week.

"I feel good but I've still got to go to therapy for my neck," he said. "I'm not 100 percent. I had a bad injury and it takes time."

Delahoussaye said his physical therapy involves the stretching and strengthening of his neck muscles at a clinic near his Arcadia, Calif., home.

"They've put me back together there before," he said.

During the time off, he has visited the racetrack occasionally, including a recent trip to Santa Anita to observe the filming of an upcoming movie based on the popular book about Seabiscuit.

"I'm hoping to make it back," he said. "I thought when I went to the doctor on Monday, I'd know more. I know my neck isn't 100 percent."

Some bettors got generous payoff

Hollywood Park released an incorrect payoff for Wednesday's place pick all, paying out $214.40 on the $1 bet. The payoff was later amended to $69.50.

According to track officials, the payoff of $214.40 was in effect for "four or five" minutes after the eighth race on Wednesday. The mistake reportedly occurred when the payoff failed to calculate the runner-up finish of favored Heaven's Treat in the eighth race.

The $1 place pick all requires bettors to select a horse to finish first or second in each race.

Track officials did not state how many tickets were cashed for $214.40. The pool for Wednesday's place pick all was $35,459.

Limited TV replays for Santa Anita

Santa Anita will offer a replay show only twice a week on over-the-air television when the winter-spring meeting begins on Dec. 26.

A 30-minute replay program will air on KDOC (Channel 56) in Los Angeles on Saturday and Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m.

There will be a daily replay program on the cable network Fox Sports West each morning at 1:30 a.m., covering the races from the preceding day.

The lack of a nightly KDOC program is almost certain to be met with a backlash from racing fans who have grown accustomed to watching the day's racing each evening.

Santa Anita will offer a five-hour live racing program each Saturday on KDOC that will include racing from Golden Gate Fields and Gulfstream Park, two tracks also owned by Magna Entertainment.

Domestic Dispute targets Futurity

Domestic Dispute, third in the Sunny Slope Stakes at Santa Anita in October but ninth in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs on Nov. 30, will start in the Hollywood Futurity on Dec. 21.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Domestic Dispute joins a field expected to include Kafwain, Toccet, Roll Hennessy Roll, and Outta Here.

Baffert trains Kafwain, the runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Toccet is coming off a win in the Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct Nov. 30.