07/16/2009 11:00PM

C. S. Silk gets back on Poly in Oaks

Four-Footed Fotos
C. S. Silk, winner of last year's Arlington-Washington Lassie, returns to Arlington on Saturday.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - When C. S. Silk visited Arlington Park 10 months ago, she left with a trophy, some win photos, and a highly impressive six-length romp in the Arlington-Washington Lassie. She's back here from Kentucky on Saturday for the Arlington Oaks, but C. S. Silk is still trying to get back to that peak form from her last trip to Chicago.

You could give C. S. Silk a pass for fading to seventh after setting a hot pace in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, her first start after the Lassie, but things got no better thereafter. She was a mild second in the Delta Princess, then finished fourth, fifth, and fifth in her next three starts.

"I couldn't really see any reason for it," trainer Dale Romans said. "She just kind of flattened out on us this winter."

But on June 27, in her turf debut, the good C. S. Silk popped back up. She set a quick pace in a second-level allowance against older horses and won by almost four lengths.

"I could see she was rounding back into form the way she was training going into her last race," Romans said. "I do think she's back to herself."

If that assessment holds, C. S. Silk has a good chance to make an early lead from the rail under Robby Albarado and go all the way in the Grade 3, $150,000 Arlington Oaks, a 1 1/8-mile Polytrack race.

Polytrack - that might be a key. C. S. Silk won her maiden on dirt, but that is the only dirt race she has won in five tries.

"She may not be a graded stakes horse on dirt," Romans said.

Peach Brew, one of two Donnie Von Hemel-trained starters, is more flexible. She has two wins on dirt and decent tries on both turf and Polytrack. Saturday's Oaks marks only her second synthetic-track race, and Peach Brew ran well here opening weekend, rallying for second on a speed-biased track in the Double Delta Stakes.

"She ran a pretty good race that day on the Polytrack," Von Hemel said. "She's just a hard-knocking filly."

Von Hemel's other starter, Always in My Heart, won a June 4 entry-level allowance race here by four lengths.

"She acted like there was more in the tank that day," Von Hemel said.

Hot Cha Cha, another Kentucky shipper, should take plenty of betting action, too. She had trouble in her last two starts and has won three times on Polytrack. Those synthetic victories, however, all were at Turfway Park, where the Polytrack plays much differently than at Arlington.