07/28/2003 12:00AM

Class-climber Savorthetime appears best


CHICAGO - At Arlington, the third-level allowance condition for fillies and mares has grown a regular cast. This allowance condition (the races also include a $62,500 claiming option) fills every three weeks or so. Each time, a horse wins - usually by a polite margin - and moves on, but the core element remains, basically unchanged.

Into this staid circle blasts Savorthetime, who should shake things up in Arlington's Wednesday feature, a 6 1/2-furlong sprint at the third-allowance level. Up in class from a galloping comeback win, Savorthetime may turn out to be a cut above the cast of Arlington regulars.

"We've always thought a lot of her," said trainer Al Stall, who is spending much of his time at Saratoga right now and was reached there by phone.

Savorthetime, a Gilded Time filly owned by Brenda and Phillip Robertson, debuted 15 months ago, won her first two by open lengths, and finished third in the $150,000 Stonerside Stakes at Lone Star. That, however, was the high point of her season, as Savorthetime's form tailed off steadily.

"Last year, the grind really got to her," Stall said.

A rest was in order, and Savorthetime got a long one. She went to the sidelines in late November and didn't race again until June 21. "It was official time, like the old days," said Stall. "It helped her dramatically. She seemed to come back twice the size."

Savorthetime has "always been a big work horse," Stall said, and a six-furlong breeze in 1:12, perhaps the fastest long work this whole meet, had her set for her comeback. Stalking a solid pace in fifth place early, she cruised to the lead and won by almost four lengths while being ridden out by jockey Curt Bourque, who has a return call.

"She ran like she was something the other day," Stall said. "She sure won comfortably, and she's had enough time. She may get outrun, but I'd be shocked if she took a step back."

Savorthetime's impressive win and 99 Beyer Speed Figure should make her the favorite Wednesday. To beat her, one might look first to And Thats My Story, then at Ft. Mann and Dazzling Rubies. And Thats My Story endured a tough trip when she finished second at this level in her last start and has drawn a better post for this race. Ft. Mann, third behind And Thats My Story last out, also could run better with improved racing luck in this spot.