09/25/2012 3:35PM

Arlington: Honey Chile can run away with feature

Barbara D. Livingston
If Thursday’s feature at Arlington plays out as it looks on paper, Honey Chile can steal off to a clear lead.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Forced into a pace duel in the Chicago Handicap on June 30 at Arlington, Honey Chile folded up and finished fourth. Among the horses sweeping past her was Maude S, who ran on to finish second. But Thursday’s featured third race, of which Honey Chile and Maude S are a part, might unfold much differently than the Chicago Handicap.

Eight fillies and mares were entered in a 6 1/2-furlong Polytrack sprint with multiple high-end allowance conditions and a $100,000 claiming option. Honey Chile looks like the only one of them with true early speed.

In the Chicago Handicap, Honey Chile dueled through a sub-45-second opening half-mile, but if Thursday’s race plays out as it looks on paper, Honey Chile can steal off to a clear lead without having to run nearly so fast.

It doesn’t hurt, either, that Wayne Catalano trains Honey Chile. Catalano is running away with another Arlington training title, and his stable has been especially successful during the last couple months. Part of Catalano’s hot streak comes from having horses who fit particular races, and that’s definitely the case with Honey Chile. After her fourth-place finish in the Chicago, Honey Chile won an Aug. 2 allowance race by four lengths, but with that being her only victory of the season, she qualifies for Thursday’s race under the “nonwinners of two races in 2012” condition. Honey Chile has worked five times since that Aug. 2 race, and she will be formidable at a short price Thursday.

Maude S, meanwhile, got a break after the Chicago Handicap, making her first start since in a Sept. 2 turf-route allowance race. She performed capably, finishing second on a surface that’s probably not her best, but even if Maude S is fit and sharp, she figures to be disadvantaged by the pace situation Thursday.

Bettors seeking some sort of value might consider All for Thee. Fifth and seventh in two turf races this meet – her first starts since Team Block privately purchased her last year – All for Thee makes will be making her first career start on a synthetic track and in a one-turn race in the Thursday feature. She has more talent than she has shown in her recent races, and the surface and distance change might bring it out.