06/13/2011 3:08PM

Arlington: Hooh Why's past form would be good enough


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Words aptly applied right now to the mare Hooh Why are if and when.

When Hooh Why approaches something close to her best form she will be a bear in races like Arlington’s featured first race Wednesday, but it’s fair to wonder if she ever will.

Hooh Why is one of seven fillies and mares entered in a seven-furlong Polytrack race with multiple allowance conditions and also open to $80,000 claimers. Now 5, Hooh Why has earned $767,658, almost all of it in synthetic-surface races, and far more than would’ve been expected given her modest pedigree, by Cloud Hopping and out of a Corporate Report mare. Her greatest triumph came in the Grade 1 Ashland during the spring of 2009, but Hooh Why managed to hold solid form through much of her 4-year-old season, too, winning twice while earning over $200,000. She finished the year with a decent third in the Bessarbian, a $152,000 stakes at Woodbine, and was bet to 3-1 for her 2011 debut in the April 23 Whimsical, a Grade 3 Polytrack sprint at Woodbine.

But Hooh Why finished fifth by more than five lengths in the Whimsical and was fifth by 11 on May 14 in the Hendrie at Woodbine, looking little like her old self either day. In the past, Hooh Why has quickly rebounded from the periodic clunker, and one wonders if, after 27 starts and extensive travel, Hooh Why’s best days are behind her. Mike Reavis is listed as Hooh Why’s trainer when she starts in Chicago, though Mark Hoffman is a very hands-on co-owner wherever Hooh Why races – which is at just about any track with a synthetic surface.

The pick to win the Wednesday opener/feature is Home’s the Best, a veteran Illinois-bred mare who also started 2011 slowly, turning in sub-par performances in two Hawthorne starts. Home’s the Best was much, much better May 28 in the Arlington Matron, where she just missed second in a race dominated by Pachattack. Home’s the Best generally is a two-turn horse, but she has run well before in one-turn Arlington Polytrack races, and may be along to win for the first time since August.

Cave Creeker makes her synthetic-surface debut Wednesday and has turned in quick recent works for trainer Louie Roussel. She, like Home’s the Best, may be rallying late and wide, a running style that was effective on the main track Sunday after inside trips were far more favorable much of last week.