08/03/2008 11:00PM

Dastardly Deeds live despite inactivity

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Dastardly Deeds got a little sick in June, and when he starts Wednesday in the featured sixth race at Arlington Park, it will be the 6-year-old gelding's first race since May 18. But that's nothing. Dastardly Deeds didn't race between March 12, 2007 and May 18, and since he overcame that long layoff to win, the much shorter break between starts should not get Dastardly Deeds beat on Wednesday.

"After one of his breezes in June, he ran a little temperature for a couple days, and that set us back, but we think he's ready now," said trainer Chris Block.

Dastardly Deeds was one of only six horses entered in Wednesday's 1 1/16-mile grass race open to high-level allowance horses or $80,000 claimers. The race also includes one of the grand old grass horses of the Midwest, Major Rhythm, a 9-year-old multiple stakes winner with earnings of almost $750,000. Spider Power and Rumor Has It race for the $80,000 tag, while trainer Moises Yanez has a pair of win threats in Rey Del Sol and Majestic Zeal.

Dastardly Deeds went down with an injury early in his 5-year-old season. He looked like a good, solid turf horse - quite good by Illinois-bred standards - and did nothing to contradict that appearance in his May 18 comeback. Closing from behind a moderate pace on a soft turf course, he was up by a nose over pacesetting Majestic Zeal.

"My plan was to get him into a groove and see if we could move him in a forward direction," Block said, "but now we're still kind of seeing where he fully fits."

Majestic Zeal followed that nose loss with a third in the Black Tie Affair Handicap, but faded to fifth off a moderate pace in a July 5 race of slightly lower class than Wednesday's, and Yanez said a change in tactics could be in order.

"The horse doesn't have to go on the lead," he said. "We'll maybe try to lay a little off the pace this time."

If Majestic Zeal is taken back, Rumor Has It could wind up in front, with Major Rhythm not far behind. Dastardly Deeds figures to get first run on Spider Power and Yanez's other horse, Rey Del Sol. Rey Del Sol, a half-brother to Majestic Zeal, might have a touch more quality than his uncoupled stablemate, Yanez said, but also may be better on Polytrack than turf.