10/13/2004 12:00AM

Turf Paradise track report

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Apprentice Kyle Kaenel appears on the way to establishing himself in this riding colony.

Through Monday at this young meet, Kaenel had 3 wins from 18 rides, putting him just 4 wins behind leading riders Wilson Dieguez and Mick Ruis. Kaenel is the son of "Cowboy" Jack Kaenel, who is best known for riding Aloma's Ruler to victory in the 1983 Preakness at age 16.

Kyle Kaenel, 16, scored his first victory on 30-1 longshot Load a Chronic on Sept. 20 at Kentucky Downs.

Steve Nolan, Kaenel's agent, says Turf Paradise is a good place for a young jock to get a foothold.

"Turf is a great training ground for apprentices," said Nolan, who has been an agent for 22 years, "because trainers here are willing to give young riders a chance, especially those who show talent. Since it's an eight-month race meet, they get plenty of riding experience."

Former apprentices under Nolan's watch include Southern California-based riders Garrett Gomez and Isaias Enriquez.

Bart Hone leads the trainer standings through Monday, having won with 5 of his first 10 starters. Eric Kruljac (4 for 17), Keith Bennett (4 for 7), and last year's leading trainer, Troy Bainum (4 for 6), are right behind. Rolland Fergason is also making the most of his placements early this meet, going 3-1-1 from 7 starters.