10/30/2001 1:00AM

Colt ready to take on tougher


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - After a productive summer at Ellis Park, Advanced Edition started running into heavy hitters. But he acquitted himself well in his latest start, finishing second in a Keeneland allowance to the stakes-savvy In Frank's Honor, and another big try would make him a solid contender in the Thursday feature at Churchill Downs.

Advanced Edition, a 4-year-old Bertrando colt trained by Angel Hyland, is part of an overflow field entered in the eighth of nine races, a $59,800 allowance scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the grass. Mark Guidry will guide Advanced Edition from post 2 in what shapes up as one of the best betting races of the day.

Advanced Edition drew off with flair to win back-to-back turf allowances at Ellis, showing himself to be a vastly improved grass horse. After being soundly beaten in the Turfway Fall Championship on dirt, he returned to finish second in his only try at the Keeneland meet, a race that clearly would make him tough Thursday.

Several others will make him work for the top prize, including The Knight Sky, a seasoned turf runner trained by Chuck Simon; Flying Avie, who gets the hot tandem of Pat Day and Dale Romans; and X Country, who has faced some of the circuit's best 3-year-olds all year.

Three other allowance races and a $50,000 claiming sprint also are carded on a solid program.

Ohioans loom as choices

Ohio-breds possibly could be favored in both of the 2-year-old stakes here this weekend. Joanies Bella is one of about eight fillies pointing to the $100,000 Pocahontas Stakes on Saturday, while Harlan's Holiday heads a field of about eight for the male counterpart, the $100,000 Iroquois on Sunday.

Also scheduled for Saturday is the richest race of the week, the Grade 2 $200,000 Churchill Downs Distaff. Caressing, Nany's Sweep, Nasty Storm, and Trip are the big names for the one-mile Distaff, which is expected to attract as many as 10 fillies and mares.

* Accelerant dueled Dancing Missile into defeat before drawing off to a 3 1/4-length victory in the Tuesday feature, a $39,000 third-level allowance sprint. Accelerant returned $11.80 as third choice in a field of eight after finishing six furlongs in 1:09.22 over a fast track. Marlon St. Julien was aboard for trainer Paul McGee. Mountain General, the 2-1 favorite, rallied to be second, 2 1/4 lengths ahead of late-running Here Comes Rocket.

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