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SANTA ANITA : McCarron Will Lose Rides in Two Stakes


There seldom is a good time for a jockey to draw a suspension, and Chris McCarron's five-day penalty is no exception. The suspension, which starts Thursday at Santa Anita, also applies to other tracks because of racing's reciprocity rule and will prevent McCarron from riding the Eclipse Award-winning Dehere in his debut as a 3-year-old.

Dehere, who beat the Santa Anita-based Brocco in a close vote for best 2-year-old male, is scheduled to begin his Kentucky Derby campaign next Sunday at Gulfstream Park in the $75,000 Hutcheson Stakes, a prep for other Gulfstream races leading up to the Florida Derby.

"We'll miss him this time, then get back on him his next race," said Scott McClellan, who is McCarron's agent.

The Santa Anita stewards announced McCarron's suspension Sunday after reviewing the interference that his mount, Queens Court Queen, caused in the stretch run of Saturday's seventh race. Queens Court Queen was disqualified from first to third place.

The suspension will also cost McCarron the mount on Bien Bien, who will be the favored Saturday in the $125,000 San Marcos Handicap at Santa Anita. McCarron rode Bien Bien to victory last year in the Hollywood Turf Handicap and the Sunset Handicap.

After other jockeys rode Dehere in his first two starts last year, McCarron was hired to ride the colt. Bob Brennan, who owns Dehere, wanted a California jockey because the Breeders' Cup Juvenile was going to be run at Santa Anita in November.

McCarron rode Dehere to three of his four stakes victories, including the Hopeful at Saratoga and the Champagne at Belmont Park. In the Breeders' Cup, however, Dehere bled from the lungs and ran eighth as Brocco won by five lengths.

McCarron's suspension ended a week that started with his home being damaged in the Northridge earthquake. A few of his Breeders' Cup trophies were broken.

Working between races Sunday at Gulfstream, Dehere was timed in a fast 57 4/5 for five furlongs. Jerry Bailey was aboard for the work, but he is committed to another horse in the Hutcheson.

McCarron is the leading stakes jockey at the Santa Anita meeting with four winners, including Saturday's astride Hill Pass in the San Pasqual Handicap.

Two other leading jockeys at Santa Anita--Kent Desormeaux and Chris Antley--were handed five-day suspensions on Saturday for not maintaining straight courses with horses on Friday's card. Those suspensions start Wednesday. McCarron's suspension runs through Wednesday, Feb. 2. Desormeaux, who has 21 winners, is tied with Alex Solis for the top spot in the standings and Antley has 20.


On his last mount before the suspension starts, Chris Antley rode Individual Style to a narrow win over Argolid in Sunday's $110,050 California Breeders' Champion Stakes.

Individual Style, paying $5.20, won by a neck, becoming only the third favorite to win a stake out of 17 at the meeting.

Individual Style, who has won six of eight starts, earned $65,050, increasing his total to $223,650 for his owners, Jim Reynolds, Ronnie Penton and Chris Hemming. His time for seven furlongs was 1:21 2/5.

The first time he ever ran, Individual Style won by 10 lengths in a $32,000 claiming race. Since then, he has won four stakes.

"We seemed to have most of the speed in the race, especially when The Immobilizer scratched," trainer Lin Wheeler said. "But I knew they weren't going to give us an easy lead, and sure enough Bob Baffert's horse (Argolid) went right with us most of the way. Then when my horse kicked loose at the quarter pole, I thought he was going to win easy. Then Baffert's horse came back at us a little bit."

Horse Racing Notes

In another stake on Sunday's card, Monde Bleu, who finished seventh in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, won his first race in the United States, the Reb's Policy Handicap. Wayne Lukas, who trains Monde Bleu, said his El Camino Real Derby winner, Tabasco Cat, probably will run in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 19. Tabasco Cat's victory at Bay Meadows Saturday came in his first start since a third-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He is the horse who knocked down Wayne's son, Jeff, on Dec. 15 in the barn area at Santa Anita. The younger Lukas, his father's chief assistant, has been hospitalized with head injuries since the accident. Wayne Lukas said that his son was told that Tabasco Cat won the El Camino Real.

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