10/30/2006 1:00AM

Young newcomer making inroads


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Jockey Kyle Kaenel believes he made the right decision when he came here to ride on a full-time basis in northern California this summer.

The 18-year-old Kaenel has made a positive impression on horsemen here and currently ranks fourth in the Bay Meadows standings with 7 wins from 34 mounts. He lost an eighth win on Sunday when Brave Sun ducked in twice on longshot Cover Magic in the stretch and was disqualified to second despite Kaenel's attempts to keep him straight.

Kaenel wrestled with a decision to come here in August when he decided he was going to leave the Maryland circuit. Kaenel rode in Maryland during the spring and summer after spending last winter riding in New York. Trainer James Chapman, a family friend, offered him mounts if he would come to Kentucky. At the same time, agent Joe Griffin, who had booked mounts for Kaenel's father, Jack, called and encouraged him to come to California.

"I was going to go with Mr. Chapman to Kentucky in the spring, but he said he wasn't going to be in position to help me with a lot of mounts, so I went to Maryland," Kaenel said.

Kaenel, who has been riding for three years and has 259 victories from 1,830 mounts, weighed the decision of whether to ride in Kentucky this summer or come here carefully.

"If I went there, I knew I'd ride in stakes," he said. "This looked like I'd have a better chance day in and day out to get mounts. Here I get the experience on all kinds of horses that a young rider needs."

Kaenel was a tyke when his dad rode here. He would come to the races wearing what was his father's trademark cowboy hat.

"A lot of trainers tell me, 'I remember you when you were this big,' and that helps," Kaenel said.

Kaenel credited trainer Steve Miyadi with "helping me with live horses. You have to have a barn behind you."

Kaenel has ridden Breeders' Cup Sprint candidate Malibu Mint, trained by Chapman, to back-to-back stakes victories, and will ride her in the Sprint. Malibu Mint will be a longshot, but Kaenel is thrilled to have his first Breeders' Cup mount.

"It's going to be tough," he said. "But there are so many horses all they know is to go. She comes from off the pace. Hopefully, that will benefit us."

Bonde rues lack of Cup starter

Trainer Jeff Bonde was disappointed he wouldn't get to run Untouched Talent in Saturday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs, where she might have been one of the favorites. She didn't have time to recover from surgery a week ago Monday to repair an entrapped epiglottis.

Untouched Talent has won two stakes, including the Grade 3 Sorrento at Del Mar, and finished second in the Grade 2 Del Mar Debutante.

Untouched Talent would have been the second Breeders' Cup starter for Bonde, who sent out Spain when she ran fourth in the 1999 Juvenile Fillies.

"When I ran Spain, I knew she'd be the fourth or fifth choice, but I knew I had an improving horse," he said. "This time I wasn't sure I didn't have the best horse. I thought this would be as good a shot as we would have."

Untouched Talent will still go through the Fasig-Tipton mixed sale immediately following the Breeders' Cup, Bonde said.

Two locals to run on big day

At least two horses with northern California connections will run on Breeders' Cup Day. Trainer Art Sherman is at Churchill Downs with Siren Lure, who is a contender in the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer will run Cause to Believe in the Grade 3, $200,000 Ack Ack Handicap at one mile.

Derby attracts 14

Fourteen 3-year-olds were nominated to Sunday's $100,000 Grade 3 Bay Meadows Derby at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Proudinsky, a Bobby Frankel-trained import from Germany, will likely be favored, although Bold Chieftain, coming off a pair of wins, including the Hays Valley in his last start, is a live contender.

Bedlam Bertie, Raise the Bluff and Sharper Edge are also expected to go. Illuminise, a stakes-winning filly from the Neil Drysdale barn, remains a possibility.

Trainer Julio Canani has made no decision on undefeated Hyperbaric, who would be making his third start.

Punishments handed out

Jockey Joel Rosario will begin a three-day suspension Friday after his mount, Charm Doll, altered course and caused interference at the three-sixteenths pole in Thursday's eighth race.

Jockey Macario Rodriguez was fined $100 for failure to fulfill his riding engagements last Wednesday. Trainer Ed Moger Jr. was fined $300 for failing to report the gelding of Our Tricky Ricky before his Sept. 10, 2006, start at Golden Gate Fields.

* Seven fillies and mares will go 1o1/16 miles on the turf in a $20,000 claimer for Wednesday's Bay Meadows feature.