09/27/2002 11:00PM

Condellone highlights Illinois Day


COLLINSVILLE, Ill. - The second edition of Illinois Day, comprising six $35,000-added stakes, marks the high point of Fairmount Park's racing season.

The Pete Condellone Handicap, a one-mile race for older males, is the best race of the day, but it will be missing last year's winner, Tic N Tin, who ran in an overnight handicap at Arlington Friday, finishing third. In the Condellone, local horses Crack the Vault, Silver Bid, Moe B Dick, and Multiple Metal will be bracing for an invasion from Chicagoan Baker Road.

Baker Road is a route specialist who raced at the Fair Grounds over the winter and has been in Chicago for the summer. Baker Road has tactical speed and has faced solid competition.

Crack the Vault scored an upset in the Sept. 17 Forego Handicap here, and his stalking style will come in handy should a speed duel occur, as it did in the Forego. Crack the Vault is consistent but will probably need a solid early pace to win.

Moe B Dick has won five straight, all in routes here. Moe B Dick's first four wins came against midpriced claimers, but last time out he stepped up to beat money allowance competition. Moe B Dick is one of several speed horses in the race.

Silver Bid is an accomplished sprinter who stretched out for the first time in the Forego and ran well, pressing the pace through three-quarters in 1:10.80 before weakening in the stretch and giving way to Crack the Vault. How Silver Bid runs in his second try at two turns will be a key to the race.

The other Illinois Day races are: the Marluel's Troy Stakes, for 2-year-olds colts and geldings at six furlongs; the All Sold Out, for 2-year-old fillies at six furlongs; the Tex's Zing, for 3-year-old colts and geldings at six furlongs; the Slight in the Rear, for 3-year-old fillies going six furlongs; and the Bungalow Handicap for fillies and mares at a mile.

Three winners from the inaugural Illinois Day are back this year. Wright on Houston, winner of last year's Marluel's Troy Stakes, will clash with multiple stakes winner Bulldog George in the Tex's Zing. Tejano Honey, who won last year's All Sold Out, runs in the Slight in the Rear. Dentons Ruby, last year's Slight in the Rear winner, runs in the Bungalow.

Post time is 1 p.m. Central.