FAIRPLEX STORY: SIGFRETO 5-2 MORNING LINE CHOICE IN SUNDAY'S RALPH M. HINDS AT FAIRPLEX
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ed Golden
Sigfreto, undefeated in two races at Fairplex Park, has been installed a
tepid 5-2 morning line favorite for Sunday's $100,000 Ralph M. Hinds Pomona
Invitational Handicap at Fairplex Park.
The marquee event of the Los Angeles County Fair race meet is also the
closing-day feature of the 17-day season.
Nine horses were entered for the about 1 1/8-mile test named in honor of the
Fair Association's late president and chief executive officer.
Sigfreto, winner of the 2001 Pomona Derby and this year's Phil D. Shepherd
Stakes on Sept. 14, will break from the rail, a spot that did not enthrall
trainer Doug Peterson.
"I'm not happy with it," Peterson said. "He's not the best gate horse and
he'll have to stand around while the others load. But what can you do? It's
the luck of the draw."
Hot Market and Reba's Gold, the two highweights under 119 pounds each, are
listed at 3-1 and 7-2, respectively.
The field in post position order: Sigfreto, Matt Garcia, 117, 5-2; Reba's
Gold, David Flores, 119, 7-2; Hook Call, Danny Sorenson, 113, 30-1; Hot
Market, Jose Valdivia Jr., 119, 3-1; Out of Mind, Chance Rollins, 116, 12-1;
Nates Colony, Martin Pedroza, 117, 6-1; San Nicholas, Tyler Baze, 115, 20-1;
Most Likely, Omar Berrio, 115, 15-1; and Dig For It, Iggy Puglisi, 116, 6-1.
Richard Mandella, the Hall of Fame trainer who conditions Out of Mind, will
be seeking his second Hinds victory. He saddled Clairborne Farms' Region to
win in 1996.
ATKINSON SAYS FOR SOME JOCKEYS, RIDING IS NEVER BUSINESS AS USUAL
Racing is a game of risks, whether you're betting or riding.
For jockeys it entails more than physical peril. When it comes to obtaining
good mounts, personalities and politics are ever-present, whether you're a
world class rider, or one who plies his trade at the lower echelon, eking out
Take Paul Atkinson, for example. The 33-year-old native of Idaho Falls,
Idaho, had a good run on the Bay Area fair circuit earlier this year, but
found it difficult to get rolling at Fairplex Park. Through last Friday, he
had only one victory from eight mounts with three seconds. It can get
discouraging, but Atkinson remains realistic and optimistic.
"Even with starting all over again (such as fellow jockey Fernando Valenzuela
must do after being sidelined for six months with a broke arm), it's very
tough," Atkinson said of getting live mounts. "Once you get some horses, it's
tough to hang onto them because when they run light (short) fields and a
rider like Kent Desormeaux, or (Eddie) DElahoussaye or (Gary) Stevens is open
in a race, owners tell their trainers, 'How come you don't have that jock on
my horse? It's a five-horse field. Why are you riding this guy (Atkinson)?
Why don't you have that guy? He's a Hall of Famer, an Eclipse Award winner.'
That's what makes it tough trying to hang on to your horses.
"The problem with being bumped from a horse in favor of a big name rider is
if the name rider makes a mistake and the horse gets beat, the connections
always tell you, 'I should have let you stay on my horse. You rode him
before, you know him, I shouldn't have taken you off.'
"Well, if I was a trainer, I would want somebody on my horse who actually
WANTS to ride my horse, not somebody who is willing to ride it, because when
you have somebody who wants to ride your horse, someone who's working hard
every day, he's going to give everything he's got. Look, mistakes will