09/08/2006 11:00PM

Creative Force latest Block top-shelf turfer


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Call it the House of Block, an unbroken line of male Illinois-bred turf horses running from Reno Rumble through Mystery Giver and Fort Prado, owned by the Block family, whose patriarch is Dave Block, and trained in Chicago by Block's son, Chris. And though Fort Prado still is going strong, and even Mystery Giver has gotten back to winning, Creative Force might be next in the line.

Creative Force, a grand-looking 3-year-old son of Red Ransom and the Block's mare, Little Bold Lookin, has won 3 of 9 starts, looking all the while like a colt whose best days may come a little later in his career. Eighth in the Illinois Derby, he won an open turf allowance race early in the Arlington meet, then finished a more-than-respectable fourth in the Grade 3 Arlington Classic. After a two-month freshening he returns Monday in the Paradise Creek, a $40,000 overnight stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Creative Force has banked almost $130,000, thanks in great part to a win last winter in the Jim Edgar Futurity at Hawthorne, but while that race was on dirt, Block has come to believe that Creative Force is better suited to turf. Creative Force does his best work during a race's last quarter-mile, but he is not completely void of speed. Well-drawn Monday in post 7, Creative Force should settle in behind honest fractions and, if he runs back to his form from July, has a good chance to win

Nine others were entered in the Paradise Creek - including the Block-trained Reverential.

Like an Eagle drew poorly, and, unproven at two turns, has never tried turf, but he can run. Second in his debut here in May, Like an Eagle scored a good maiden win going seven furlongs, then won even more impressively in his first start against winners, capturing an entry-level, one-mile allowance race here by six lengths. Like an Eagle last raced Aug. 25, unable to sustain a bold mid-race move but finishing a solid fifth behind the high-class Lawyer Ron in the inaugural St. Louis Derby at Fairmount Park. By Victory Gallop and out of a Sky Classic mare, Like an Eagle has a pedigree that suggests turf ability.

Tally Up, winner of the Illinois-bred Springfield Stakes in June, is another first-time turfer, while Charley Tango seems a certain bet to improve upon his 14th-place finish July 22 in the American Derby.