12/15/2005 12:00AM

Favorite beatable at two turns?

Four-Footed Fotos
Last Gran Standing brings the best credentials into the Illinois Futurity, but is unproven going 1 1/16 miles.

CHICAGO - There's little doubt about the identity of the most precocious, accomplished horse in Saturday's $100,000 Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity at Hawthorne. He is Last Gran Standing, victorious in all three of his starts at 2 and an easy winner of the $92,000 Sun Power Stakes last month at Hawthorne.

In the Sun Power, Last Gran Standing stumbled near the start, stepped on himself, and cut up his front foot, but the injury didn't slow him during the race, and he has bounced back from it during the time between starts. Last Gran Standing worked a strong six furlongs last Saturday, has speed and the rail, and is the deserving favorite in the Futurity.

And yet he may be beatable. Last Gran Standing, trained by Brian Williamson for the Russell Reineman Stable, is by Distorted Humor and out of the Lost Code mare Gracious Granny. The pedigree does not scream route, and though Last Gran Standing is not speed-crazy, he probably looks a little more like a sprinter than a route horse, and the Futurity's 1 1/16 miles - his first trip around two turns - could test Last Gran Standing.

"That's kind of the hope," said trainer Chris Block, who sends out the promising Creative Force, one of nine challengers to Last Gran Standing.

Creative Force is nothing if not a route horse. He debuted in a two-turn turf race, finishing second, and won his maiden last out over a route of ground on dirt.

"He has come forward nicely, pretty much on his own," Block said. "I never pressed the pedal with him, because I knew he was a two-turn horse. He doesn't look like a sprinter, or have a sprinter pedigree. You just hope that the steps you've seen, he will take another one forward."

Silver Titan, second to Last Gran Standing in the Sun Power, flopped in his two-turn debut, but that was an open race on turf at Keeneland, and Silver Titan seems much more like a dirt horse. Running short, Last Gran Standing looks like his superior, but trainer Ronny Werner said he hopes two turns brings Silver Titan closer.

"He's kind of a grinder type, and I think the two turns should suit him better," Werner said.

Last Gran Standing figures to use his speed from post 1, but there is pace to his outside, and jockey Chris Emigh may throw down the anchor to avoid an early duel with Class N Charm, Barely Union Scale, and perhaps Heavens Hope. Creative Force has an outside draw, but should be dropping over for position before the first turn, and probably can save enough ground.