06/19/2006 11:00PM

Fifteen Rounds seemingly on another level


CHICAGO - Five horses entered in Arlington's Thursday feature are Monkey Hill, Private Horde, Wild Tale, Charging Indian, and Attack the Books, a fine group of allowance sprinters. And if form holds, all have little chance of winning. The other horse in the featured eighth is Fifteen Rounds, one of the finest one-turn horses in the region.

wouldn't even have been eligible for this high-end, six-furlong allowance had Arlington stewards not taken his number down after he crossed the finish first in the Grade 3 Hanshin Handicap on May 27. But Fifteen Rounds was judged to have fouled runner-up Gouldings Green in the Hanshin and was placed second, which gave trainer Christine Janks the option of choosing this allowance spot over an out-of-town stakes race.

"I believe in running them as easy as I possibly can," Janks said. "It's a harder decision when the purse here is $35,000, compared to $100,000 somewhere else, but the truth is I want to stay here if possibly can."

Janks supports Arlington racing, but Arlington racing also has been very good to Janks. Her 2005 meet here was excellent, but somehow this season is going better. She has needed only 42 runners to accumulate 14 wins and is third in the trainer standings, behind two outfits with more starters.

Fifteen Rounds likes Arlington, too. He has won 8 of his 12 starts over the surface, and after dipping all the way down to a $50,000 claiming tag in late spring of 2005, Fifteen Rounds has become a beacon of consistency. Cross out two failed trips to Keeneland and a loss in a turf sprint, and Fifteen Rounds has finished first in 8 of his last 11 starts. He showed he could stretch his speed to a mile in the Hanshin, but returns Thursday to his favorite six-furlong trip, where he has won 12 times in 18 tries.

Not that this is a walkover. , trained by Kentucky-based Walter Bindner, won the first four starts of his career, including an overpowering win over Battle Won in an April 12 Keeneland allowance race, but he fell back to earth on Kentucky Derby Day in the Churchill Downs Handicap, finishing last of 10 in his stakes debut. That race, though, was no real representation of Charging Indian's ability, and since he returned to the work tab just 10 days later, it's safe to assume that Charging Indian came out of the loss no worse for wear.

, first or second in 10 of his 15 starts, also has a chance to be part of the exacta.