08/07/2006 12:00AM

Block's old pro continues his comeback


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Campaigning Thoroughbred horses requires patience, and to win races on a regular basis requires either great luck or a vast arsenal of starters. But the gap between Mystery Giver's last two victories was extreme, even by this sport's standards. Some 27 months after he set a Fair Grounds turf course record when he won the Mervin Muniz Handicap in March 2004, Mystery Giver had his picture taken again after winning the seventh race here June 30 by a nose.

It was a long time between wins and a great gulf in class levels, since the Muniz is a Grade 2 and Mystery Giver's recent victory came in a $40,000 claimer. But with that win under his belt, Mystery Giver, 8, is being given a bump up in class and was entered in Wednesday's featured seventh race for a $62,500 claiming price in a 1 1/8-mile grass race also open to third-level allowance horses. He was far from the only one. The Wednesday feature drew 12 horses, with two more, including Mystery Giver's stablemate Dastardly Deeds, on the also-eligible list.

has put together consecutive victories, the first on turf, the more recent on dirt for this same $62,500 price.

Golden Trip, another Kentucky horse, also has won two straight races, but he hasn't started since Jan. 20, when he captured a race at this class level at the Fair Grounds meet at Louisiana Downs. Bully for You was beaten more than four lengths by Matzoh Toga last out, but that was in an off-the-turf race, and Bully for You should be on or near moderate fractions breaking from post 1. And two others merit mention: Lord Carmen, who finished second at this class level July 1 in his first start in more than a year, and Lacer, who was sixth behind Lord Carmen last time, but won twice at this class level here this time last summer.