07/16/2010 6:34PM

Arlington: Turf speed holding Friday

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With the portable rail set up way outside lane 5 and the turf course baking again in sun and 90 degrees, it sure seemed like front-enders were going to be the way to go on grass today.

Okay, okay, I'm an idiot. The turf rail's 10 feet inside lane 1. Why would i think it was 18 feet outside lane 5? Well, because that's what my DRF pps have said since I first saw them several days ago. Apparently, AP decided to change rail position today after races had been drawn on Sunday, so there was no way of properly listing rail position in any of the past performances people view.

So, while speed has held twice now on grass, I'd attribute that to what now look like very slow fractions, given the inner rail position, on a very firm course.

Race 2 winner Mustang Powder pulled off difficult feat of improving for third straight race (kudos trainer Bobby Springer), and won a $17.5K claimer from the first flight of pace stalkers. But in race 3, Denham, bet from 6-1 morning line to 4-1 post-time odds, forged to early lead from fence and could not be caught. And in just-run race 5, stretchout sprinter Larry by the Lake was well rated on front end for a half-mile, was allowed to open a clear lead on the far turn, and never was remotely threatened in the stretch after drawing clear after turning for home.

Those three all were routes, and, fortunately, there are two more such races - the 7th and the 8th -- left on this card. Unfortunately, race shape does not so neatly yield to dissection as was the case in races 3 and 5.