07/06/2001 11:00PM

Bright Valour repeats feat

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Bright Valour needed a post-race disqualification to win the Grade 3 $100,000 Hanshin Handicap last year at Arlington Park.

This year, all it took was a perfect inside trip under Robby Albarado and a game run through the stretch for Bright Valour to win his second straight Hanshin.

Bright Valour, placed first in the Hanshin last year when Yankee Victor was disqualified, did get some help this year, too. The second choice, Globalize, bled badly in the race and was eased. Fan the Flame, a proficient front-runner, was compromised when he stumbled at the start. When he recovered, Fan the Flame went up to push an exceedingly fast pace.

Far back early, Bright Valour commenced a sustained run at the half-mile pole, slipped through along the inside turning for home, and outgamed Apt to Be in the stretch.

Bright Valour, owned by Joe Allbritton's Lazy Lane Farms and trained by Al Stall, paid $5.40 as the favorite and ran a mile in 1:36.21 over a muddy track.

Last year, Bright Valour moved from the Hanshin into the Washington Park Handicap here, finishing fourth, a move Stall said he was contemplating again. The Washington Park will be run at 1 1/4 miles, but Bright Valour has never won a race around two turns.

"I'm going to talk about the Washington Park with the owner," Stall said. "The way he settles, you have to think about stretching him out."

Albarado, who will begin riding regularly here later this month, kept Bright Valour along the fence as the horse moved up from seventh place in the early going. "The pace was a big factor," Albarado said. Indeed, with Tic N Tin and Fan the Flame battling through a half-mile in 44.69 seconds, the race fell into the laps of the closers.

"He's not a horse to go on the inside," Albarado said. "He prefers to go around." But Albarado said he "had a horse right on my outside" on the far turn, and with no other choice, he kept Bright Valour along the rail. A tiring Tic N Tin drifted out turning for home and Bright Valour shot through the opening. Apt to Be came to his flank in midstretch but Bright Valour held him off by three-quarters of a length.

Globalize was pulled up on the far turn. "He bled really, really bad," said rider Ray Sibille.