08/04/2009 11:00PM

Calhoun sends out the old guard


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - It's old-timers day at Arlington on Friday - only these old-timers are the main event, not some pregame sideshow.

The 8-year-old Bret Calhoun-trained Orphan Brigade starts in race 4, a $50,000 Polytrack sprint claimer, and later on the card, the 10-year-old Bret Calhoun-trained King of Speed goes in featured race 8, a second-level allowance with a $40,000 claiming option that lets King of Speed into the race.

Both horses remain at unusually high claiming prices for their age, and neither is in any way overmatched on Friday. King of Speed finished third off a long layoff racing for a $50,000 claiming price on July 5 at Churchill Downs, a nine-furlong race for which Calhoun said King of Speed was not entirely fit. In February, before he was given a break, King of Speed won for a $35,000 claiming price at Fair Grounds, and he was victorious in an amazing 8 of 13 starts during his 9-year-old campaign of 2008.

"He's just one of those horses," Calhoun said of King of Speed's longevity. "I don't know what to attribute it to, really. He's a smart horse. I don't know if he just knows how to take care of himself or what."

King of Speed is one of only seven horses entered to run 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack. He likes to settle in close to the lead, but could fall into a perfect stalking trip behind Ashe's Cat and The Visualiser on Friday. Publish exits a second-place finish to It's Never Too Late, who would be favored in this spot. He's Bonafide is 3 for 3 on Polytrack this meet, but takes tough jump from Illinois-bred to open allowance competition.

Orphan Brigade comes off a $50,000 turf claiming win at Churchill, and is part of a salty six-horse field in race 4 on Friday. This horse has won 3 of his last 5 starts, and halfway through his 8-year-old season, he, like King of Speed, is a 21-time winner.

"We sold this horse for a pretty good lick off a big race at Hawthorne, and bought him back for about half price a year later," said Calhoun. "He's a very cool horse, consistent year-in and year-out."

Orphan Brigade will make his synthetic-track debut Friday, but has won 13 times on dirt and 7 on turf, and has handled everything under his hooves except a deep, laboring track, Calhoun said. But Orphan Brigade is a front-running type drawn on the rail and inside two other very fast horses, Brooks Star and My Best Pal Red. So, race 4 could set up for off-the-pace Sub Futz Jr - a mere babe in arms at age 7.