05/15/2006 11:00PM

Eyeforglory looking good


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Backers of Eyeforglory need not be concerned if that one remains away from the fence in Thursday's sixth race at Churchill Downs, an optional claiming race at five furlongs on turf. Such a move would be by design, trainer Bob Pincins said.

The reason? doesn't have a right eye, Pincins said, and he would rather have him see the opposition with the one eye he has, his left.

Despite his handicap, Eyeforglory is thriving as a racehorse. A winner of 7 of 17 starts, he comes into Thursday's race having won 2 of 4 starts this year, including his last race at Mountaineer, on March 31.

Racing in a starter allowance for horses that had raced for a claiming price in 2005-06, Eyeforglory outdueled three-time allowance winner Safe Play, to score by two lengths. He ran the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.19, for a 96 Beyer Speed Figure.

His previous race was just as good, although it resulted in a loss. Dueling throughout on the lead in an optional claiming race at Hawthorne on March 10, he ran third, beaten two lengths by Fifteen Rounds, possibly Chicago's best sprinter.

Pincins attributes Eyeforglory's form to the hard work of exercise rider, Jamie Dolan.

Although Eyeforglory's recent races were on dirt, he is also proven on turf. He has a win, a second, and a third in three starts on grass - albeit in softer company.

"He'll run on any surface," said Pincins, who claimed Eyeforglory for $30,000 last August at Ellis Park for the C D M Racing Stable. "He's just a game horse."

Eyeforglory, with leading jockey Julien Leparoux named to ride, is one of six horses racing for an $80,000 claiming price under the optional claiming conditions of the race, which offers a $62,000 purse Four others in the 10-horse field qualify under third-level allowance conditions.

One horse running under allowance conditions is the comebacking , who makes his first start since finishing third in the Kentucky Cup Sprint last September. Eighteenth in last year's Kentucky Derby, he has raced in 10 consecutive stakes races.

In his most notable achievement, he won the Sham Stakes last year at Santa Anita, defeating eventual 2005 Derby winner Giacomo, who ran third. Going Wild is unraced on turf.