08/19/2004 11:00PM

Brajczewski has two in feature


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Duke University basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski's name has such an unusual spelling that people find it far easier to call him by nickname. Hence, Coach K.

That's why some racetrackers who hang with Chicago trainer Gene Brajczewski have taken to calling him "the Polish Plumber."

Brajczewski, 43, is a New Jersey native who isn't even close to being a plumber. He has trained racehorses for 15 years, including the last 12 in Chicago, and has no idea why the nickname caught on - except that it's alliterative, catchy, and far easier to sound out than Bruh-zew-ski.

Sunday, when the featured eighth race is run at Arlington Park, Brajczewski hopes he is being called something else: winner. With the uncoupled pair of Sassy Belle and Poets and Angels, Brajczewski stands two good chances.

"Poets and Angels is on top of her game right now," said Brajczewski, whose best horses have included Wild Heart Dancing, Please Sign In, Treat Me Doc, and Curious Conundrum. "She should be part of the pace again. Sassy Belle likes to have pace in front of her, so she might be a little farther back than in her last few races. I'm going to run them both, hoping their running styles complement each other."

Besides the Brajczewski duo, the $35,000 feature drew several other strong contenders, most notably Sister Swank, a graded-placed filly who will be making her turf debut and her first start in nearly five months. Steve Asmussen trains Sister Swank, a 3-year-old Skip Away filly, for the Heiligbrodt Racing Stable.

In all, 11 fillies and mares are scheduled to clash in the Arlington feature, which highlights a nine-race card that starts at 1 p.m. Central.

Tizdubai retired with fracture

A week after Godolphin was well represented in the International Festival, most notably with Beverly D. winner Crimson Palace, five horses and several employees are still here at Arlington for the powerhouse stable.

"We haven't been informed when we're going back to England," said Rachel Dore, assistant to Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor. "We may have a horse or two to run before we leave."

One horse that won't show up in the entries is Tizdubai, the 3-year-old filly who had been expected to run Saturday in the Arlington Oaks but was not entered. Tizdubai, winner of the Grade 2 Sorrento Stakes last year at 2, sustained a hairline fracture to her left hock and has been retired, according to the Godolphin website.

Crimson Palace, meanwhile, has returned to a light training schedule. "She's in good form," said Dore.

Mystery Giver out for a year

Mystery Giver, the standout Illinois-bred who was injured in the Arlington Million, was found Friday to have a tear of the lateral (outside) branch of his right hind suspensory ligament and will have a year off, said trainer Chris Block.

"It's just what we suspected," said Block. "We'll leave him here until the meet ends, then send him to our farm in Ocala. He'll have a year off, and then we'll try to see if we can bring him back for 2006."

Mystery Giver, a 6-year-old homebred gelding by Dynaformer, is owned by Team Block, which comprises the trainer and his family. Mystery Giver has won 11 races and $1,165,900.

"Of course this is very disappointing, because he was such a sound, consistent horse who gave us a lot of thrills and excitement," said Block. "We really cherish what he's done for us. But that's part of racing. We'll give him all the time he needs and see if he wants to have another whirl at it."

- Timothy Martin, a Naperville attorney, has been appointed to the Illinois Racing Board by Gov. Rod Blagojevich, it was announced Friday. Also, Lorna Propes was reappointed as IRB chairman, a position she has held since April 2003.