08/24/2005 11:00PM

All eyes on Wildcat Heir


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - If things turn out right, Wildcat Heir could wind up in the Breeders' Cup Sprint this fall. For now, his attention is turned to the Arlington Breeders' Cup Sprint Handicap here Saturday.

Wildcat Heir, in from Monmouth Park for trainer Ben Perkins Jr. and owner New Farm, is the main attraction in the top sprint race of the Arlington meet. A 5-year-old, Wildcat Heir has started only 11 times, but has 6 wins and 4 seconds. Last November, he won the Grade 1 De Francis Memorial by a neck over Midas Eyes.

"He's had some problems through his life, and we've been able to get him to a couple big races when he's right," Perkins said. "We know that when he's at his best, he's pretty tough. We only plan to run him a few more times, and we want to make them count."

Wildcat Heir was being pointed to the Sunshine Millions Sprint last winter, when he developed a foot bruise.

"We decided to come home and get him ready for the spring," said Perkins. "We had him breezing at Monmouth, and he ended up popping a curb" - a minor hock injury. "We just gave him some rest."

Wildcat Heir made his comeback in the $100,000 Teddy Drone Stakes on the Haskell Invitational undercard and looked just like the high-class sprinter seen last season, winning by almost six lengths under jockey Stewart Elliott, who rides again Saturday. Wildcat Heir shipped in by van earlier this week and has settled into his surroundings.

"He galloped over the track a couple days," Perkins said. "He's good to go."

Wildcat Heir faces six rivals in the six-furlong Arlington Sprint. High Blitz is in from Canada, Rodeo's Castle from Louisiana, and Fire Slam, Level Playingfield, and Elusive Jazz come from Kentucky. The local horse is Fifteen Rounds, who will be tested for class Saturday, but was brilliant winning a high-end allowance race Aug. 5.

"You always worry when they do that well if they can come back and do it again three weeks later," said trainer Christine Janks. "I believe he can."

Fire Slam, winner of the Riva Ridge last season, finished sixth a month ago in the Don Bernhardt Stakes at Ellis Park, his first race of the season. But trainer David Carroll said he believes Fire Slam dislikes the track surface at Ellis, and Carroll expects a better performance.

"He's probably a race away from winning a race like this, but we're looking for something to build on," Carroll said. "This horse is too good a horse to run the way he did last time."

Unbridled Danz seeks fourth straight

Two races before the Arlington Sprint, Unbridled Danz will try for her fourth straight win when she starts in the $40,000 Hatoof Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, a prep for the Grade 3 Pucker Up.

Unbridled Danz made her debut here June 18 with a four-length win in a two-turn turf race and followed with a four-length win in an entry-level allowance July 9 and a 1 1/2-length win in the Audubon Oaks on Aug. 6 at Ellis Park. An Unbridled's Song filly owned by Stan Fulton and trained by Becky Maker, Unbridled Danz has an effortless way of going and won the Ellis race without really paying attention during the stretch run.

At some point Unbridled Danz will run into horses that will force her to focus, but perhaps not in the Hatoof, a 1 1/16-mile turf race. Her main rival could be You Dancing Devil, who just four starts ago lost an entry-level Illinois-bred allowance race. That was before You Dancing Devil was switched to grass racing and turned her form around. She since has won three in a row, including an Aug. 5 victory over older horses in an open third-level allowance race.

"I don't know if I can beat [Unbridled Danz], but we're going to find out Saturday," said trainer Greg Geier.