06/13/2001 11:00PM

'Assets' needs dry racetrack


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Hidden Assets has won five of 10 races in her career, has brilliant early speed, and flew through a five-furlong workout last Saturday in about 58 seconds. And yet she may have no chance to win the Grade 3 $150,000-added Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap at Arlington Park on Saturday.

"She's doing great as long as we don't get a wet racetrack Saturday," said assistant trainer Steve Flint.

By finishing last on May 26 as an odds-on favorite in the $50,000 Regal Rumor Stakes at Hawthorne, Hidden Assets made it clear that she wants no part of a muddy track. "Some speed horses are that way," Flint said. "She needed to run last time out, so we took a chance, but it was a disaster. She floundered from the very first step."

Flint will scratch Hidden Assets if the track comes up muddy. The forecast called for rain Thursday night and Friday morning and then clear skies the rest of the weekend. If that holds, the track should be fast Saturday afternoon.

Owned by Richard, Bertram, and Elaine Klein, Hidden Assets is the co-highweight at 115 pounds, and probably will make the lead under jockey Jeremy Beasley in the seven-furlong Chicago BC. The racetrack heavily promoted speed on opening day, and on a similarly biased strip her six rivals may have no chance.

But if Hidden Assets comes back to the field, either The Happy Hopper or Rose of Zollern becomes a likely winner.

The Happy Hopper may have gotten a break in the weights at 114 pounds. Trained by Bob Holthus, The Happy Hopper, a 5-year-old, has won nearly $700,000 in a 32-start career, although she hasn't yet won a graded stakes.

The Happy Hopper ran in this race last year, finishing second to Saoirse on a wet track. In her last start, she finished fourth against tough competition in the Grade 2 Humana Distaff at Churchill on Kentucky Derby Day.

Rose of Zollern has not won a stakes of any sort since her days as a turf horse in Germany, but she has made a good living over the last year in middle-distance dirt allowance races. She won a one-mile allowance over this track last summer and beat lesser opposition in her last race at Churchill.

Trip, who comes out of turf races, also rates a chance for trainer Frankie Brothers, and along with Linda Love, Please Sign In, and Must Be a Lady, completes the Chicago BC field.