07/05/2011 3:20PM

Arlington: A She's Adorable returns from nearly a year layoff in turf feature

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – “If it’s not one thing, it’s another,” the saying goes. In the case of A She’s Adorable, it was one thing and the other.

A She’s Adorable came out of a good second-place finish last July 17 in the Grade 3 Robert Dick Memorial Handicap at Delaware Park lame in her left-front leg. A fractured elbow was diagnosed, and A She’s Adorable was sent to a Kentucky farm for a period of rest. Just as the elbow was coming around, the mare came up gimpy in her other front limb. A fractured cannon bone, which required surgery to repair, was the diagnosis, and A She’s Adorable needed more time.

But A She’s Adorable is back now, one of six horses entered in a third-level optional $80,000 claimer on turf Thursday at Arlington, and according to trainer Mike Stidham, the mare looks as good as ever.

“Work-wise she’s doing great,” Stidham said. “She’s come back very, very well.”

A She’s Adorable, a 5-year-old Johar mare bred and owned by Phillip Maas, raced in couple maiden-claimers back in the fall of 2009, but turned into a nice middle-distance mare – one of Grade 3 quality, it seems – during 2010. Her ideal distance might be something closer to nine furlongs, but she was second to the stakes mare Romacaca going one mile at Arlington last summer, and Stidham said he believes the mile trip on Thursday will be suitable. James Graham is named to ride for the first time, and A She’s Adorable’s tactical speed should at least place her within hailing distance of whatever pace there is Thursday. With no real front-runners entered, it would not be shocking to find A She’s Adorable up on the front end herself.

Cave Creeker isn’t as accomplished as A She’s Adorable, but she displayed a strong stretch run in five grass races last summer at Arlington, finally going off form in the Grade 3 Pucker Up. Cave Creeker got in a seemingly useful comeback race at seven furlongs on Polytrack on June 15, and could be set for a competitive showing.

Silent Candy finished second and Viva Vino third in a May 22 Arlington race at this class level and distance, but Viva Vino had the tougher trip that day and might prove the better of the pair in Thursday’s fourth-race feature.