08/17/2004 12:00AM

Bound for Fame shortens up


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Distance rarely has been an issue for Niall O'Callaghan. A native Irishman who began his training career in the eastern U.S. before ultimately settling in Kentucky, O'Callaghan has set up shop at a wide range of racetracks, always with the intent of improving his stature in the game.

Likewise, distance may not be an issue for a colt whom O'Callaghan will ship to Chicago for the Thursday feature: . On Thursday, he will run 6 1/2 furlongs in the featured fifth race at Arlington Park, a $33,000 entry-level allowance.

Up through early this year, O'Callaghan guided Bound for Fame's half-brother Woodmoon through a 30-race career that grossed nearly $400,000 for the man who owns both horses, Henry Pabst. O'Callaghan has taken a liking to Bound for Fame, and after Bound for Fame earned a 91 Beyer Speed Figure in his maiden victory going a mile at Churchill Downs, O'Callaghan said he believed he may have been on to something.

Alas, a fourth-place finish in a 1 1/8-mile allowance race here last month amounted to a slight regression following Bound for Fame's one-mile maiden win. Duly regrouped following three solid breezes at his home base, he will be back in Chicago to try sprinting in what shapes up as a competitive field of seven in the Thursday feature.

There is an ample amount of opposing speed to facilitate a winning rally by Bound for Fame. Dancemaker, Canadian River, and Grand Council all have a decent turn of foot, with Canadian River, who actually won at this same level three weeks ago for Bret Calhoun, clearly the most dangerous foe among that group.

Canadian River gets to run back under the one-other-than allowance condition for which he won July 29, because owner-breeder Clarence Scharbauer has opted to risk him for a $50,000 claiming price, part of the race conditions. Scharbauer, incidentally, tasted racing fame in the late 1980's as the owner of Kentucky Derby and BC Classic winner Alysheba.

One other logical challenger in the fifth of nine Thursday races is Trifecta, who makes his first start for Panic Stable and trainer Tom Amoss after winning four of his last seven starts for Steve Asmussen.

Two allowance races for Illinois-breds (races 1 and 8) also are carded here Thursday, when first post is 1 p.m. Central.