09/04/2008 11:00PM

Any future stars among Lassie's 13?


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Who knows if any future stars grace the Arlington-Washington Lassie, but there are plenty of riding stars here to try and land a prospect for major 2-year-old filly stakes this fall.

Eclipse Award winner Garrett Gomez will ride Pride, while Rafael Bejarano is here for the mount on Pretty Prolific. Robby Albarado will get a leg up on C. S. Silk, and even Northern California legend Russell Baze is in town to pilot Broadway Hennessey.

The Lassie, a Grade 3 with a $150,000 purse carded for one mile on Polytrack, goes as race 8, and all those name jocks will be back for the ninth, the Grade 3 Pucker Up. Both graded stakes drew highly competitive 13-horse fields, and they're preceded by another good race, the $50,000 Honor Glide.

Pride was one of three fillies entered by trainer Todd Pletcher, and she is one of three horses in the Lassie exiting an entry-level allowance prep race here Aug. 7. Ravin Maniac, who drew post 13 for the Lassie, won that day, with Pletcher's pair of Pride and Quite the Lady, neither of whom had an ideal trip, second and third. Pletcher's third horse, Phola, won her lone race by more than four lengths, and gets the services of Arlington's leading rider, Rene Douglas.

But it seems fair to question the strength of that allowance, and to look for the Lassie winner elsewhere - namely in the Kentucky contingent.

Both C. S. Silk and Pretty Prolific won maiden races at Churchill Downs, after which their paths diverged. C. S. Silk had to get over what trainer Dale Romans termed "small issues," and has trained sharply up to the Lassie. Third in her debut, C. S. Silk broke through with a big win second time out, and drew off near the end of that six-furlong race.

"We're expecting her to only get better the farther she goes," trainer Dale Romans said.

Pretty Prolific went to Saratoga, and despite early trouble just missed running second to leading 2-year-old filly Mani Bhavan in the Grade 2 Adirondack. Pretty Prolific makes her synthetic-track debut, which is of little concern to trainer James Baker.

"As far as I'm concerned, I think she'll run on anything," Baker said.

Broadway Hennessey won a Santa Rosa stakes for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and Baze in late July, but may be cut out for more than the California fair circuit. Mamma Lina only beat Illinois-breds in her lone race, but she looked as sharp as any maiden winner this summer here.