07/16/2002 11:00PM

War Emblem works for the Haskell


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - War Emblem, the winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes earlier this year, worked seven furlongs in a quick 1:23.40 on Wednesday at Santa Anita, preparing for a start in the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on Aug. 4.

War Emblem, unraced since finishing eighth in the Belmont Stakes on June 8 in an attempt to win the Triple Crown, recorded the fastest of five works at the distance.

"This was the work that if you're going to tighten the screws, you do it today," said Jimmy Barnes, assistant trainer to Bob Baffert. Barnes supervised the workout in the absence of Baffert, who was at the sales in Kentucky.

"Bob called from Kentucky and said he wanted a stiff seven-eighths," Barnes said. "We kind of lightened up on him after the Belmont. He went a very easy half and an easy five-eighths."

War Emblem is scheduled to ship to Del Mar later this week and will be flown to Monmouth Park on July 31, Barnes said. War Emblem will work twice at Del Mar before shipping.

War Emblem is attempting to give Baffert and owner Ahmed Salman's Thoroughbred Corp. their second consecutive winner in the Haskell. Last year, Point Given, the eventual Horse of the Year, won the Haskell as a comeback after winning the Belmont Stakes.

Our Main Man will miss a year

Our Main Man, who placed in three stakes during the spring, will be away from racing for a year after suffering a bowed tendon earlier this week, trainer Grant Hofmans said. The 4-year-old Our Main Man was being prepared for Sunday's $250,000 Sunset Handicap at Hollywood Park at the time of the injury.

"It's in the middle of the tendon," Hofmans said, describing the injury. "There's a hole, but it's surrounded by healthy fibers. We've got a good shot of coming back."

Owned by a partnership, Our Main Man was claimed for $32,000 as a 2-year-old. He was having his best season this year, including a second in the $250,000 Dallas Turf Cup on June 15 in his most recent start.

"He's had a good run," Hofmans said. "This is usually when this happens; when they're running their best. It's been a rough meeting for us, soundness-wise."

Without Our Main Man, the probables for the Grade 2 Sunset Handicap include Adminniestrator, Continental Red, Grammarian, Kim Loves Bucky, Lord Flasheart, Ringaskiddy, Slew the Red, and Super Quercus.

Cossey gets five years for Ponzi scheme

Ernest "Frank" Cossey, who aggressively jumped into horse racing as an owner in the late 1990's, has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison for his involvement in a Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of $146 million.

Cossey was the chief executive of TLC America, which raised money from investors, promising high returns from real estate. In court hearings earlier this year, prosecutors said that some of the money raised by Cossey went to buy racehorses.

In March, Cossey pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of filing a false tax return.

Most of Cossey's racehorse holdings were dispersed at Barretts in January 2001. The dispersal sold 40 horses for $2,082,500. Cossey also owned a greyhound stable that was active throughout North America.

Injured Valdivia out for two weeks

Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. will be out for two weeks after being diagnosed with a hairline wrist fracture, an injury suffered in a spill in the second race on July 12.

Valdivia was thrown from Flying Heart when the filly went over the inside rail in midstretch.

Last weekend, Valdivia missed rides on Full Moon Madness in the Answer Do Stakes on Saturday and Irguns Angel in the A Gleam Handicap on Sunday. Both horses won.

On Wednesday, Valdivia dropped an appeal of a three-day suspension received on June 23 after Confess, his mount in the ninth race on June 22, was disqualified from first to second for causing interference.

Sky Jack and Momentum's next moves

Sky Jack and Momentum, the first two finishers of the Hollywood Gold Cup last Sunday, are headed in different directions.

The 6-year-old Sky Jack is unlikely to start until September, while Momentum is being pointed for the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 25.

Trainer Doug O'Neill said Sky Jack may not start at Del Mar, and that the $500,000 Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park on Sept. 7 is a possibility.

"He seems more and more mature," O'Neill said. "It might not be as traumatic to ship as I thought."

Trainer Craig Dollase said that Momentum will be considered for the Pacific Classic, which is run over 1 1/4 miles, the same distance as the Gold Cup.

Congaree works

Congaree, the winner of the Lone Star Park Handicap in May who was sixth in the Stephen Foster Handicap last month, worked six furlongs in 1:09.80 at Santa Anita on Wednesday. He is a possibility for the Pacific Classic.

Trained by Baffert, Congaree is expected to return in the $250,000 San Diego Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on Aug. 4.