03/08/2008 12:00AM

Brueggemann always ready for spring


STICKNEY, Ill. - Roger Brueggemann didn't have a great first week of the 2007 Hawthorne spring meeting, but he had a great second two weeks, winning with 6 of 16 starters. This year, Brueggemann didn't wait that long. He had four

horses in on Friday's opening day, and won with all of them, capturing the first, fourth, fifth, and sixth races.

Brueggemann has done this several years in a row. Operating mainly a claiming operation, he takes things fairly slow in the summer, and does well enough at Hawthorne in the fall, but his bread-and-butter meet surely is the first one of the Chicago season.

"I take two to three weeks off after the winter meet ends, and then start to sort things out," Brueggemann said. "A little bit of time off, I think it really helps them out. I know it does me good."

Brueggemann lets his horses work quickly once they begin to get fit, and right now, at least, they are running to their works. Especially impressive Friday was Sole of the City, who won a $40,000 optional claimer by more than 10 lengths, going six furlongs in 1:09.25. The blowout victory was her fifth in 14 Hawthorne starts.

"She was getting a little tired at the end of last year," Brueggemann said. "She was running the whole summer, and she doesn't eat all that well."

Inez Karlsson was aboard Sole of the City and also rode That's a Fact to victory for Brueggemann a race later. Karlsson, a seven-pound apprentice who had

success on the circuit as a

newcomer last year, was making her first appearance since December, when she had to take a short medical leave. Her agent, Penny Ffitch-Heyes, has strong connections on the circuit, and some here expect Karlsson to have a good season.

"I've been getting on 10 or 11 horses a day," Karlsson said. "It seems like I've got a lot better support than I did last year. I hope I can have a good meet."

Sticking close to the Brueggemann stable should facilitate that.

* Monday's best race is either race 7, a second-level Illinois-bred allowance, or race 8, an open entry-level allowance. Race 7, at 5 1/2 furlongs for filly and mares, includes Madame Cassan, who has been posting notably quick workouts and could be a force if she is able to adapt to the short-sprint distance.