09/06/2002 12:00AM

Bad-trip Galic Boy right back


CHICAGO - "Scraping paint" is old racetrack jargon for saving ground by clinging to the inner rail. But in Galic Boy's case it describes literally what happened during his last race. Trapped in a pocket three furlongs from the finish Aug. 18 in The Bart Handicap here, Galic Boy and jockey Ray Sibille ducked to the inside in search of racing room, but what they found was more traffic - and the fence.

"I thought he was going down at the quarter pole," said Mickey Goldfine, who trains Galic Boy for owner Arthur Appleton. "Thank God, he came back okay. He hit the rail and actually had paint on him."

Galic Boy has a chance for better luck Sunday at Arlington when he takes on a bulky field in another overnight turf stakes, this one dubbed the Golden Pheasant, for Charlie Whittingham's Arlington Million winner.

Goldfine said he feels he ran the best horse in The Bart, and since Galic Boy never found room to run (he wound up a close fifth) he never expended the energy he would have needed to win. "That's why I'm running him back so quick," Goldfine said. "I had planned on the [Sept. 29] Sea O'Erin, but he's doing so well right now."

Just Like Jimmy lost by a head to Private Son in The Bart, but Galic Boy beat him a length in the Bowl Game here in July. Just Like Jimmy, trained by Dallas Stewart, had held good form since early in the Churchill meet, and as consistent as he has been this year, one wonders how long his streak of top efforts can hold.

There are numerous other possibilities, including Apt to Be, lightly raced this year after returning from an injury, but still with the ability to come up with a contending race.

Both Smilin' Slew and Man O' Rhythm have raced sharply on turf this summer, and then there is the enigmatic Monarch's Maze, whose Grade 2-winning form has grown three years old. A comer in the turf division during 1999, Monarch's Maze won graded stakes races restricted to 3-year-olds, then jumped into the older horse division and won the Grade 2 Red Smith.

But since then, Monarch's Maze has raced only once, in March 2001. He makes his first start Sunday for trainer Moises Yanez. Yanez brought the turf horse Showing Your Stuff back from a year-plus layoff to win at Hawthorne this spring, but said he feels Monarch's Maze will need a race.

"He might not be quite fit, but I don't want to train him hard," Yanez said. "I'd rather seem him run right now."

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