07/17/2013 4:17PM

Arlington: Maker can boost local win total with Ghost Is Clear

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Tom Keyser
Ghost Is Clear, claimed by trainer Mike Maker for $10,000 last fall, has since then won 4 of 9 starts for earnings just under $125,000.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – The trainer Mike Maker has sent out at least a handful of starters during 2013 at a dozen racetracks minimum. At most venues, the Maker barn makes hay. During his stay at the Gulfstream Park meeting this winter, Maker won with 27 of 91 starters, a 29-percent strike rate. His concurrent string at Fair Grounds was equally strong, going 24-75. At the tough Keeneland meet this spring, Maker was 25-76, another 30-plus win percentage, and at Churchill Downs, his home track, he won with 35 of 112 runners.

The Keeneland meet shows Maker has no problem winning bunches of races on an all-weather surface, but two summer all-weather tracks have not been nearly as easy for his stable to master. So far at Presque Isle Downs, Maker has been blanked with 12 starters, and here at Arlington, he has managed just one winner in 15 tries. That total, however, could get a boost on Friday when Maker sends out Ghost Is Clear in the featured third race.

Maker and his owners have made various excellent claims in recent seasons, and Ghost Is Clear ranks in the upper tier. Maker claimed the horse for himself from trainer Dale Romans for just $10,000 last fall, and Ghost Is Clear since has won 4 of 9 starts for earnings a shade under $125,000. Maker, finding starter-allowance and allowance spots for Ghost Is Clear, never has risked the 5-year-old gelding for any kind of claiming price, and that’s the case again Friday, when Ghost Is Clear is entered under allowance conditions in a 6 1/2-furlong Polytrack race also open to $80,000 claimers.

Ghost Is Clear is one of seven entrants, a field that has plenty of quality but zero early speed. Ghost Is Clear pressed fast sprint paces in two recent starts at Churchill Downs, and could wind up leading Friday over a main track that has played kind to front-runners for much of this meet.

Also in the field is Shared Property, who makes his first synthetic-surface start since he beat Take Charge Indy in the 2011 Arlington-Washington Futurity. Shared Property returns to a sprint trip he probably likes, and looks like a contender.

Slightly tougher to read is Illinois-bred sprint standout River Bear, set to make his first start since last October. River Bear has been posting ferociously fast Fairmount Park workouts and has run well before on Arlington Polytrack.

◗ Seven 3-year-old fillies were entered Wednesday for Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Arlington Oaks. The field, from the rail out, consists of Seaneen Girl, Frivolous, My Option, Mary Bernice, Gold Edge, Sky Girl, and Bold Kitten. The Illinois-bred La Tia won the 2012 edition of the race.