07/12/2005 11:00PM

Come on Jazz looking good off his latest


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Come on Jazz had developed a couple of pernicious habits during his two-plus seasons of racing. Sometimes, he would make the lead and wait for other horses to catch up to him. Sometimes, he would dawdle too far behind the leaders, his stretch run coming too late to win.

But that all changed here June 23, when Come on Jazz walloped a group of third-level turf allowance horses, scoring a 5 1/2-length win. This time, Come on Jazz, ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, stayed in touch with the leaders and finished them off with a powerful sustained run.

"I don't know, he was just ready to go last time," said trainer Brian Williamson. "Usually last year, when he'd get the lead he'd kind of quit. I told Shaun that, but once he took the lead he was just gone."

has shown flashes in the past. Three weeks ago, he looked like a stakes horse, and he will need a stakes-type performance to win the Friday feature here at Arlington Park. Come on Jazz steps up in class into a high-end allowance race at 1 1/16 miles on turf. The opposition includes Grade 3 winner Scooter Roach and Great Bloom, a terror in upper-class turf allowance races like this one. Also entered are the old-time Illinois-bred Magic Doe, Act of War, Don'tbotherknocking, and Proud and Bold.

But at 4, Come on Jazz is the youngest of the bunch, and he still should have upside if he has finally figured out the racing game. He came back to work a slow half-mile on dirt after his breakout win, but Williamson said Come on Jazz has been training well.

finished seventh in his last start, but he was beaten only four lengths in that race, a $111,000 stakes at Churchill Downs. Great Bloom is trained by the Chicago-based Leo Gabriel, and though he has never started at Arlington, Great Bloom has won on grass at Delaware, Fair Grounds, Keeneland, and Churchill, which all have a different type of turf course. He has a touch of tactical speed, which could prove to be a major asset in a race that lacks any hint of real early pace.

also has shown an ability to stay in touch with a slow pace, and other than a clunker thrown in on yielding turf at Keeneland, he has been in solid form all season. Last time out, Scooter Roach finished second in the Black Tie Affair Handicap for Illinois-breds, but he was beaten that day by Fort Prado, a horse of graded-stakes quality.