05/26/2009 11:00PM

City Snitch finally gets going again

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Bret Calhoun can read a condition book - and past performances.

The former is proven in part by the fact that Calhoun has won with 10 of the first 19 horses he started so far at the Churchill Downs spring meet, and the latter is evidenced in part by how he calls City Snitch "a tremendously talented horse."

As the new trainer of City Snitch, one of six horses entered in the ninth-race feature Friday at Churchill, Calhoun has inside information as to just how good City Snitch is. Even John Q. Horsefan, however, can see that City Snitch is exceptional, because all he has to do is turn to his Daily Racing Form past performances and see a Beyer Speed Figure of 99 from a maiden victory at Saratoga.

The problem, as Calhoun readily admits, is that the maiden race came in the most recent start for the now 5-year-old horse, on July 26, 2006, when he was a precocious 2-year-old trained by Patrick Biancone.

"Obviously he's had issues that have kept him from running for nearly three years now," Calhoun said earlier this week from his primary base at Lone Star Park in Texas. "I've had him a couple of months there at Churchill, and he seems like a very, very talented horse. All those nice works he shows, they were well in hand.

"That being said, he could possibly need a race. He's a big, heavy horse, and because we haven't really asked him for much in the mornings, it makes me question whether he'll be fit enough. Hopefully he'll be good enough to go on and win right away, but the main thing is we've got him back."

City Snitch is owned by his breeder, the noted Florida pinhooker Jerry Bailey.

"Jerry said the horse had a series of problems, nothing real major, and that every time they'd try to get him back to the races, something else would pop up," said Calhoun.

The comeback spot is a $50,200 first-level allowance at six furlongs, and it does not appear particularly easy. Custom for Carlos and Posse Cat also can boast big Beyer Figures, but more importantly, their form is more recent. Western Prospector, Grasmere Park, and Peruvian Hero round out a solid crew.

The last of 10 races is the only other allowance carded for Friday, when twilight first post is 2:45 p.m. Eastern.