10/24/2005 12:00AM

Two scratched - but it wasn't what you think


LEXINGTON, Ky. - When the two outside horses in a 12-horse field were scratched at post time of the sixth race Saturday at Keeneland, a logical assumption might have been that someone forgot that only 10 horses should be allowed to start in the 1 1/2-mile turf race.

Logical, but incorrect - simply a coincidence that the outside two horses happened to be the ones that were scratched. According to chief steward John Veitch, as many as 12 horses would have been permitted to run, even though the temporary inner rail was stationed some 10 feet out onto the turf course. In most cases, the narrowing of the course requires Keeneland to restrict fields to 10.

But that wasn't the case Saturday. "We discussed that with [director of racing] Rogers Beasley, but the decision was made that 12 was okay," said Veitch.

But just when the field of 12 was about to be loaded, it was announced that No. 11, Tepee Tot, and No. 12, Vopo, were late scratches. Veitch said afterward that jockey Gary Stevens asked off of Tepee Tot "and no other rider came forward to ride her," and that Vopo had gotten loose during the post parade "and did not carry the proper weight," necessitating a scratch.

Keeneland maintains two sets of turf-course records - one set each for the Keeneland Course (with an inner rail up) and Haggin Course (no inner rail). Usually, races on the Keeneland Course are limited to 10, including the 5 1/2-furlong Franklin County on Thursday, when the likely favorite, Unbridled Sidney, had to be scratched because she did not draw in off an also-eligibles list.

Veitch said an exception was made Saturday to allow 12 starters despite the temporary inner rail being set up. "Part of the reason was distance," he said. Horses racing at three turns will not speed into the turns nearly as fast as those racing at one turn. In this particular case, there also were also assurances that 12 would be safe after measurements were taken."

Arnold extends streak to 56 for 57

Except for one meet in the late 1980's when he didn't run any horses at Keeneland because he had just moved his stable to New York, trainer Rusty Arnold has won at least one race at every Keeneland meet since the spring meet of 1978.

That's 55 of the last 56 meets. And Arnold added to that record when Ender's Sister scored the largest winning margin of this meet with a 19-length victory in the seventh race Saturday.

Arnold has trained primarily in New York for the last 20 years or so but still maintains a presence in Kentucky most of the year by having a second string with his longtime assistant, Jack Bohannan.

Albarado thrown, then wins

Jockey Robby Albarado had another adventurous weekend at Keeneland. Just 30 minutes after Coral Beach threw him after the start of the fifth race, he was in the winner's circle after guiding Mambo Princess to victory in the sixth race.

Neither Albarado nor Coral Beach were injured.

Albarado also had an eventful weekend here Oct. 15-16. His mount in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, Karen's Caper, lost by maybe a half-inch to Sweet Talker, a day before his mount in the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes, Reunited, won by a diminishing head.

* Honor in War, 6, topped $1 million in earnings by winning Saturday's eighth race. Honor in War is owned by Will Wolford, the former All-Pro lineman who played for the Buffalo Bills.