07/11/2005 11:00PM

'Devil' may still offer some value


CHICAGO - On May 29, trainer Greg Geier slipped Vitamin Bag into an overnight turf stakes at Arlington, and she scored by a half-length at odds of 40-1. Three weeks later, Geier sent You Dancing Devil into an entry-level Illinois-bred turf allowance race, and this one won at odds of 61-1.

Rarely has the crusty axiom, "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me," been more appropriate.

Arlington horseplayers have another chance to catch up to You Dancing Devil, but when she starts in the featured eighth race here Thursday, moving up the Illinois-bred allowance ladder, boxcar odds won't be part of the package. Even so, You Dancing Devil ought to at least offer a square price, and she appears to have as good a chance as any of the eight horses entered in this 1 1/16-mile grass race.

is by Joyeux Danseur, a top-class turf horse during his days racing, but not much of a hit as a sire, having been moved from Kentucky to California, and now on to Australia.

Joyeux Danseur pretty much was all grass, but many of his offspring that could run much have shown ability on dirt, too. That is one reason why You Dancing Devil, who is out of a mare by Diablo, was given little chance in her grass debut. But hers was no fluke of a nose victory.

Covered up for almost the entire race, You Dancing Devil and jockey James Graham swung into action in the final sixteenth, and finished up with the big flourish of a real turf horse. It's possible that You Dancing Devil has just now found her calling, and with only seven career starts, and just the one at two turns and on turf, the filly still might have upside.

Her rivals, for the most part, are horses well known by Chicago racing fans, second-level Illinois-bred allowance stalwarts such as Echo Jo, , who has won her last two starts for trainer Christine Janks, and is scheduled to get her first look on grass in Thursday's feature.

* Arlington turf works typically are restricted to Wednesdays, but Arlington Classic winner Purim was allowed onto the grass course Sunday, when he breezed an easy half-mile in 49.40 seconds. Trainer Tom Proctor is pointing Purim for the American Derby here July 23, provided Purim continues training to his satisfaction.