08/30/2005 11:00PM

Dubliner a Brazilian enigma


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - The horse named Dubliner is a Brazilian. And if you think that's puzzling, try coming up with a winner in Arlington's featured race on Friday.

Only six were entered in the Friday feature, carded at 1 1/8 miles on turf for third-level allowance horses or $62,500 claimers. But six is enough - enough, at least, to tingle the brain.

, a Brazilian-bred by a sire you've never heard of (Suspicious Mind), has never tasted defeat, but superimpose his form onto the Arlington feature and you'll not uncover many answers. All three of Dubliner's races came in Brazil at the Taruma track (location unknown, and not readily available on the Internet) between September 2004 and February 2005. All were on dirt, two at a mile, and Dubliner beat as many as 11 rivals in one run.

Aside from South American racing aficionados, all this will mean precious little to Arlington handicappers. But it's not like Dubliner is traveling paths never before used. He is trained by Helen Pitts, who took over the Ken McPeek stable earlier this summer, and was surely picked out as an American racing prospect by McPeek himself on one of his regular trips to Brazil. They have produced runners before. Dew Drop, who was to race late Wednesday at Arlington, won her first two starts in Brazil before being exported to the United States and winning at Arlington on July 27. Durban Thunder, another Brazilian, was an impressive allowance winner here last week, and has the look of a graded stakes horse.

So, Dubliner just might be okay, and if he has some speed, all the better. There is no confirmed front-runner in the race, and a horse stealing off to an easy early lead might prove difficult to run down.

If Dubliner isn't going to the front, might be. Slew Slayer, from the barn of trainer Ed Beam, scored a comfortable second-level allowance win here two starts ago, but failed to fire in a race at this class level Aug. 10, finishing sixth of 11, and seems at least slightly suspect at 1 1/8 miles.

, off since a $50,000 claiming win June 26, has been turning in brilliant dirt works for this start, but also looks more like a miler. Garesche is 0-8 at the distance, while Air Academy is not good enough, at least on paper. Proud and Bold hasn't won since Jan. 6, but does handle the distance, and drops in class for trainer Dennis Ebert.