10/26/2009 11:00PM

Arnold's comebacker looks solid


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Since January 2008, Rusty Arnold shows a win rate of 27 percent and a $3.10 return on investment with runners returning from layoffs of 180 days or longer. Those statistics become all the more impressive when one realizes that the Arnold-trained Karelian missed winning the richest race of the Keeneland fall meet, the $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile on Oct. 10, by a matter of mere inches after being away more than 10 months.

Arnold's prowess with comebackers is topical not only because the veteran trainer is having a solid fall meet and is hoping to run Karelian in the upcoming Breeders' Cup Mile, but also because he will be bringing back a filly named Clear Pond in one of the co-featured races Thursday at Keeneland, a $54,000 turf route carded as one of three allowances on a nine-race program.

Clear Pond, a 4-year-old Dynaformer filly bred and owned by Louise and G. Watts Humphrey Jr., has not raced in nearly a year, having ended her 2008 campaign with respectable runs in three straight graded turf stakes. Before those races, she won twice from three turf tries, capturing a maiden race at Churchill Downs and a first-level allowance at Arlington Park.

"We had given her the winter off and had her almost ready to run at the spring meet here at Keeneland when she came up with a non-displaced condylar fracture in her left hind," said Arnold, who going into the final four-day stretch of the fall meet had 4 wins and 5 seconds from 27 starters. "She's come back really well, and we're looking forward to bringing her back to the races Thursday."

Clear Pond, with Shaun Bridgmohan to ride, will start from the outside post in race 4, a 1 1/8-mile turf race governed by a second-level allowance condition. A field of eight fillies and mares was entered, with the top challengers being Forest Trail and the uncoupled Tom Proctor duo of Omega Cat and Pari.

In the later Thursday allowances, Moon Town and Strong Commit-ment figure as contenders in a $52,000, first-level Polytrack sprint (race 7), while Ocean Colors is a lukewarm choice in a $54,000, second-level turf sprint (race 8). Both drew big fields.

First post is 1:05 p.m. Eastern. The 17-day meet ends Saturday with the Grade 2 Fayette Stakes. Live action moves Sunday to Churchill.