09/24/2001 11:00PM

Caressing, Unbridled Elaine likely to pass on Matron


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Trainer Dave Vance said Monday that he might nominate one or both of his star 3-year-old fillies Caressing and Unbridled Elaine for the Oct. 6 Arlington Matron, but that neither was likely to start.

Vance said he might nominate them to the $150,000 Matron "to keep my options open." Nominations for the Matron close Wednes-

day, and there is recent precedent for a 3-year-old filly beating elders in the race: Megans Bluff won the Matron last year after capturing the Arlington Oaks.

Caressing won the Singapore Plate, formerly named the Arlington Oaks, this summer, but Vance said she is more likely to start in the Indiana Oaks on Oct. 5 than the Matron. He cited the larger purse of the $200,000 Indiana Oaks and that it is for 3-year-old fillies as the reasons he and owner Carl Pollard might prefer to run Caressing in that race.

After winning the Singapore Plate, Caressing finished off the board in the Grade 1 Gazelle at Belmont on Sept. 8.

Unbridled Elaine, second to Macho Uno in the Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 3, is likely to make her next start against fillies and mares in the Oct. 7 Spinster Stakes at Keeneland. The Spinster is a Grade 1 race with a $500,000-added purse. "If you've got a chance to beat older mares, then you're tempted to go on" to the Breeders' Cup, Vance said.

Unbridled Elaine had her first work since the Pennsylvania Derby at Churchill on Sunday, breezing five furlongs in 59.80, the fastest of the day and the fastest she has worked since Vance took over her training this summer. "She worked exceptionally good," he said.

On to Hawthorne

After enduring a tough beat in the race last year, the Arlington-based Minor Wisdom narrowly won the Kentucky Cup Mile at Kentucky Downs Sunday for owners Carolyn and Joe Friedberg and trainer Richie Scherer.

The 5-year-old Minor Wisdom, who won the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby at 3, is one of the best Illinois-breds of his generation, and has beaten open company on several occasions. He is likely to get another chance to do so next month in the Grade 3 Carey Memorial at Haw-

thorne on Nov. 3.

"Probably the thing to do is go to the Carey," Scherer said. "We know he likes it there, plus it gives him six weeks between starts."

Possible change in plans

The Illinois-bred 3-year-old San Pedro, an impressive winner of an overnight handicap here Sept. 2, might wind up in the Oct. 6 Indiana Derby, but trainer Spanky Brous-

sard said he's also considering a $50,000 overnight sprint stakes at Arlington.

Broussard said earlier in the month that San Pedro would go in either the Indiana Derby or Ohio Derby, but a slight setback has altered his plans. A routine endoscopic examination revealed that San Pedro was suffering from stomach ulcers, though Broussard said the colt "responded well to medication."

"Whichever race we go to, I think we'll be all right," he said.

Leaving the fold

The local jockey colony continues to dwindle, with Marlon St. Julien the latest rider to depart. St. Julien, who will be back here this weekend to ride Dubai Squire in the Arlington-Washington Futurity, has left to prepare for Keeneland's October meet.

Already gone are Robby Albarado, who left to take time off before Keeneland, and Shane Sellers, who is on the verge of retiring. Mark Guidry, recently back from a stint in New York, also is set to leave for Kentucky when Keeneland opens.

The departed competition only serves to strengthen the position of Rene Douglas, who is the runaway leader in the jockeys' race with 100 wins.

Star in the making?

Fresh off saddling Guided Tour in the horse's win Saturday in the Grade 2 Kentucky Cup Classic, trainer Niall O'Callaghan has a would-be stakes horse in Wednesday's Arlington feature. The 4-year-old Frazee's Folly, however, has a long way to go before he can ride with the Tour Bus.

Frazee's Folly has placed in several stakes, though, and that quality makes him the horse to beat in this fourth-level allowance with a $65,000-$75,000 claiming option. The one-mile race drew a field of seven.

After setting a quick pace, Frazee's Folly was overtaken in the stretch and finished fourth behind local hero Chicago Six in his most recent race, the Prairie Meadows Handicap. That race was at nine furlongs, and a turn back to a one-turn mile should suit Frazee's Folly. So will his outside post position, from which he can track likely pacesetter Out of My Way. Mark Guidry has the mount on Frazee's Folly.

Out of My Way is in excellent form, and though he has been more of a sprinter throughout his career, he can take advantage if left alone on an easy lead. Castlewood, coming off a poor showing here in late July, will stalk the pace from the rail.

Completing the field are Davey's Cutlass, Touch of Power, Muchacho Fino, and Soccer George.