06/24/2009 11:00PM

Allowances headline second night card


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Let's try that again.

The second of three breakthrough night programs at Churchill Downs will begin Friday at 6 p.m. Eastern with the promise of shorter lines and greater convenience for racing fans who would rather spend their time handicapping or socializing than fighting crowds.

Although they can't do a thing about the weather - high heat and humidity are again in the forecast - Churchill officials have vowed that the problems in widespread evidence last Friday, when the track offered the first night program in its 134-year existence, will be noticeably diminished this time around.

For the thousands of fans unaffected by ontrack proceedings when watching via simulcast or HRTV, the 11-race card is pretty basic. A pair of $50,200, entry-level allowances at 1 1/16 miles serve as co-features: The fourth race, scheduled for turf, drew a field of nine fillies and mares, while the 10th, to be run on the main track, drew a field of eight 3-year-olds.

While the fourth race will be run in plenty of daylight, the last four races, including the 10th, will be run with the help of a temporary lighting system that met with highly favorable reviews last Friday, when the first night of racing drew an announced crowd of 28,011. The last night card of the meet is set for next Thursday, July 2.

In the fourth race Friday, veteran trainer Rusty Arnold will send out prime contenders in the uncoupled duo of After Thought and Quiet Alice. After Thought was an easy off-the-turf winner here last month, while Quiet Alice, away since a string of solid efforts ending in August 2008, sports a series of sharp local works in recent weeks.

Quiet Alice "bordered on being a good filly last summer before she came up with a little injury," Arnold said. "If I have her ready, she's going to fit very well in that spot Friday night."

In the 10th, Dale Romans will saddle the uncoupled entry of Austons Sure Cure and Prince Teton, both of whom step up measurably in class after posting mild upsets in their respective last starts in maiden-claiming company.

"I'm hoping they're night movers," said a playful Romans, who sent out Lamm, a 9-1 shot, to win last Friday.

Post time for the last race is 11:11 p.m.

General admission for the two remaining night programs is $6.