09/03/2005 12:00AM

Beware of Bluesbdancing


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - When Bluesbdancing, injured early this year and out of serious action for several months, won an overnight stakes race here Aug. 13 in her first start of the season, she paid $41.60 to win. She also marked herself as a horse who could boss Illinois-bred female stakes horses for years to come.

"We got a late start this year, and we're looking and hoping she really turns into an extra-special filly," said Terrel Gore, who trains Bluesbdancing for owners Bob and Nancy Bartels.

Bluesbdancing already is a pretty nice filly, but she probably will be overlooked again in the Safely Kept Stakes, the $40,000 six-furlong feature on Monday at Arlington. Six others were entered in the race, which is tough to figure, and open to an upsetter, especially one like Bluesbdancing who might be rolling late behind a swift, contested pace.

Bluesbdancing could have been champion Illinois-bred 2-year-old filly last year if not for Toll Taker, who campaigned on the East Coast and was an open stakes horse. Bluesbdancing might be just as good. She won her first three starts last season, including a $97,000 statebred stakes, before going down to defeat as the odds-on favorite in an open stakes race Dec. 11 at Charles Town. Hurt over the winter, Bluesbdancing was given plenty of time by Gore, and came home strongly on the grandstand side to win an overnight sprint stakes for 3-year-old fillies in her first start of 2005.

"I would certainly have been satisfied just with a good race," Gore said. "She won, and I'm glad she's that good. She's a very smart horse. She knows how to be a racehorse, how to get the job done from the very first race of her life. That's the difference between a bunch of them that never reach their potential."

It's difficult to pinpoint the favorite in the Safely Kept. Rich City Girl comes out of three grass races, and is a better horse on dirt, and leading trainer Wayne Catalano has Liz on Polk Street for the race. A well-beaten fourth last out in a Prairie Meadows stakes, Liz on Polk Street could rebound in her second start back from a two-month layoff.

"She needed that race, really, and she didn't get the best trip in the world," Catalano said. "She got that race underneath her, and I expect a big race out of her."