10/01/2002 12:00AM

Bien Sur unlikely to bounce


CHICAGO - Bien Sur will face a better class of horse at a distance farther than she has ever raced, but the filly's comeback win here Aug. 30 suggests the obstacles won't keep her down in Arlington's featured eighth race Thursday.

Bien Sur faces seven rivals, and one of them, Good Humor, has won allowance races as easily as Bien Sur. But while Bien Sur raced five weeks ago, Good Humor hasn't been out in almost 11 months, and for her return she races under the $50,000 claiming option that's part of the conditions of this third-level allowance.

Owned by Victoria Ashford and trained by Al Stall, Bien Sur, a Texas-bred by Is It True, lacks the high-profile bloodlines of many horses that find their way into Stall's stable. But that doesn't stop her from being a runner. Bien Sur ran impressively in her Fair Grounds training race last winter and was bet down to 2-1 for her career bow Jan. 27.

She ran to those odds. Steadied behind horses at a crucial moment, Bien Sur never was fazed and finished strongly to post a three-length win, which she validated five weeks later with a closing allowance win.

But Keeneland was less kind to Bien Sur, who never got untracked in a second-level allowance race there, finishing a distant seventh on April 6. Stall prescribed rest for Bien Sur, who took things easy for much of the summer until she geared up for her Arlington comeback. And though the second-level allowance field she beat that day wasn't strong, she won by eight lengths while clocking a good time - 1:16.60 for 6 1/2 furlongs.

Bien Sur does not have the pedigree of a route horse, but then Thursday's one-mile race is not really a route. Arlington's mile is a one-turn mile well within range of a talented sprinter who, like Bien Sur, can relax and finish. Skeptics will wonder if Bien Sur will bounce off her big win, but she was not trained especially hard for her comeback, has been given ample recovery time, and has logged three solid works for this start.

Besides Good Humor, trainer Chris Block has entered Ioya Forever, who was third at this class level in her last start despite being checked in the stretch.

Also entered is Rubikisses, who has raced sparingly at this Arlington meet, but in seven lifetime starts here has finished second five times.

White O'Morn, Gonandunit, Lemon Haze, and Glitter Gulch complete the field.

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