09/07/2006 11:00PM

Wests to put on big finish


POMONA, Calif. - The final Sunday of the Los Angeles County Fair will be special for trainer Ted West and his son Ted H. West. West Sr. is the 2006 inductee into the Fairplex Park Hall of Fame and will be honored in a ceremony Sept. 24, the same day the stable runs He's the Rage in the $125,000 Hinds Handicap.

"Cooperstown was my first choice," West joked, "but I gave up that idea when I was 18."

West still ranks second at Fairplex with 141 wins, even though the stable has operated under Ted H. West's name for seven years. The father-son training team won 9 of 21 starts at the 2005 Fairplex meet, and they expect another solid meet in 2006. In addition to He's the Rage, California Cup Sprint winner Jet West also runs Sept. 24 in the Governor's Cup.

"He crushed here last year," Ted H. West said. "He really likes this track." Jet West was claimed in 2005 for $62,500 by West and owner Bruce Hochman and returned to form Sept. 6 with a good third in a minor stakes at Del Mar.

Tonja's World on another level

Tonja's World was sold as a yearling at Barretts Equine Limited, located at Fairplex. The 2-year-old filly will have to skip the 2006 Fair meet, however, after she hit the big time closing day at Del Mar. A half-sister to graded stakes winner Uncle Denny sired by Free House, Tonja's World was purchased last fall at Barretts for $85,000. After winning a Sept. 6 maiden race at Del Mar by more than 10 lengths, she is worth considerably more.

"She still doesn't know what she is doing," trainer Cliff Sise said. "She's still green." Tonja's World earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 75 winning the mile race, and Sise and owners Halo Farms and Phyllis Magerman have very few options in the near future.

"I don't know if I want to throw her to the wolves yet," Sise said, referring to the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes on Sept. 30 at Santa Anita. Sise saidhe also prefers not to shorten her to seven furlongs for the $65,000 Cover Gal Stakes for California-bred fillies on Oct. 8.

"I might just train her up to the California Cup," Sise said. The $125,000 California Cup Juvenile Fillies is Oct. 28 at 1 1/16 miles.

Two Sise trainees will be well meant in Fairplex stakes: Gn. Group Meeting in the Sept. 15 Pio Pico Stakes, and Slew's Prince in the Governor's Cup.

Stute still firing

Few trainers were hotter than Gary Stute the final three weeks of Del Mar, when his 16 starters won 6 races and finished second in 5 others. On opening weekend of the Los Angeles County Fair at Fairplex Park, the question is whether Stute is out of ammunition.

"I have some bullets left," Stute said, citing several who will be "live" in $65,000 stakes during the 16-day Fairplex meet. The 6-year-old warrior Da Svedonya, who has made 21 starts for Stute in in the past year, will run the Pio Pico Stakes for California-bred fillies and mares, while Zayed, whose romping Del Mar win Aug. 26 earned a Beyer Figure of 104, will start in the Governor's Cup.

Stute has 15 horses stabled at Fairplex, and said he has "some nice 2-year-olds." Frank the Barber, runner-up in a Del Mar maiden special-weight, will go Sept. 21 in the Gateway to Glory, and 2-year-old fillies Kimmy Potter and Steve's Lil Girl will see action.

Melanyhasthepapers still mending

In a perfect world, the stakes-winning 5-year-old Melanyhasthepapers would have run Saturday at Fairplex. But rather than defend his 2005 win in the Phil D. Shepherd Stakes, the 5-for-26 veteran, who has earned $311,152 for owner-trainer Alfredo Marquez, spent the last month in his stall. Melanyhasthepapers suffered a pelvis injury working five furlongs Aug. 7 at Del Mar.

"It's weird for an older horse," Marquez said. "It will take six months for him to run. It's too bad, because I was getting him ready to run."

Melanyhasthepapers finished third in the $98,000 Ralph M. Hinds Pomona Invitational Handicap last fall after winning the Shepherd, and this spring placed in Grade 3 races at Santa Anita and Golden Gate.

Favorite crashes

It only took one Thoroughbred race Friday for bettors to overdo it on a favorite. Dixie's Ruler started as the 1-5 favorite in race 3, but finished a dull fourth under all-time leading Fairplex rider Martin Pedroza. From the $61,400 wagered to show on the race, $59,396 was on Dixie's Ruler. The imbalance created massive show payoffs on winner Shermanthetank: $14.60 to win and $18.60 to show. The runner-up, Divine Addition, paid $44 to show, and third-place Social Skywalker paid $31.80 to show.