05/11/2006 12:00AM

Coolwind no cinch in Ribbon


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Coolwind is dropping in class from the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland to the $40,000 Ribbon, an overnight handicap Saturday at Arlington, but she may not be dropping into a race she will win.

For a $40,000 race with a six-horse field, the Ribbon came up tough. Besides is a four-time winner of multiple stakes who finished third with a dreadful trip last out in the Goldfinch at Prairie Meadows. Keystone Gulch won the Goldfinch and brings a four-race win streak into the Ribbon. Rich Fantasy exits a second-place finish against Illinois-breds in the April 29 Lady Hallie Stakes, where she and eventual winner Taylor Madison ran faster than 3-year-old colts a couple races later. And Lizzy's Township would have an excellent shot at an upset Saturday if she could erase a pair of poor efforts this winter in Florida and return to the excellent form she showed here last summer.

"I wish I had the answer to what happened," said Jim DiVito. "She just tailed off in Florida."

Lizzy's Township won one of the fastest 2-year-old maiden races here last summer, then went on to capture the $85,000 Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies before turning in her two clunkers. She has posted four workouts since returning to Chicago, two of them strong six-furlong moves, and DiVito is thinking he has Lizzy's Township back on track.

"She's been breezing good, she looks good," he said. "Every indication is that she's going to run a good race."

Keystone Gulch has run four good ones in a row, whizzing through the maiden ranks and her first two allowance conditions at Hawthorne before comfortably capturing the $50,000 Goldfinch on April 21. That means Keystone Gulch will be making her fourth start since March 5 on only 22 days' rest, but trainer Ron Shenofsky is unconcerned about the busy schedule.

"Most young fillies you wouldn't run that hard, but this filly, she's gaining weight, doing everything right," Shenofsky said. "She just likes training."

Coolwind finished last by almost 40 lengths in the Ashland, but that nine-furlong race was her first start in five months. Trainer Greg Geier would have preferred a longer distance than the Ribbon's six furlongs, but Coolwind just might be a more effective horse in one-turn races than routes.