10/01/2001 11:00PM

Filly looks maybe too good


CHICAGO - File the following under "too good to be true."

A horse skips an allowance condition, say from a maiden win to a second-level allowance race, and wins anyway. Now the horse can come back at exactly the same allowance condition, often against horses he just defeated. His edge is there for all to see.

But these horses seem to lose as often as they win, the filly I Can Go Go a recent case in point. Racing in Illinois-bred company, she won a maiden turf race June 23, and with no entry-level turf allowance immediately available, moved directly into second-level allowance company, where she finished third, then won on July 29.

Three weeks ago, after a throw-out flop in an off-the-turf stakes, I Can Go Go was back on turf, and back in an Illinois-bred second-level allowance, a condition she had already won. She finished fifth. Too good to be true, indeed.

But having been unburdened of that stigma, I Can Go Go rates as the horse to beat in Arlington's Thursday feature - you guessed it - an Illinois-bred second-level turf allowance.

A daughter of Dare and Go owned by Carolyn and Harry Disko and trained by Mark Cristel, I Can Go Go makes an important change Thursday when she races on Lasix for the first time. "She bled enough in her last race to keep her from running her best," Cristel said.

The bleeding episode casts I Can Go Go's recent running line in a different light. After sitting a perfect trip, she came up empty in the stretch. She was not simply outrun, but was physically compromised. The Lasix boost should prove decisive, as I Can Go Go probably is more talented than any of her eight opponents, at least on turf. On dirt, the 3-year-old I Can Go Go showed nothing, beaten 45 lengths in the first two starts of her career. Which is why she was 19-1 when she won that first turf race in June.

"She's still growing right along," Cristel said. "I do think she'll be a real good filly next year."

I Can Go Go wanted to go from the gate when she first ran on turf, but after setting the pace in her first two turf races, she settled just behind the leaders in her last two races.

"That's [jockey] Rene Douglas," Cristel said. "He's a real good rider, and he's helped her a lot."

Gonandunit, a winner of two straight races but beaten by I Can Go Go June 22, and Sound Wave, who improved in her recent turf debut, are the most obvious challengers.

*Rose of Zollern is expected to be the starting highweight here Saturday in the $150,000 Grade 3 Arlington Matron, a nine-furlong handicap for fillies and mares. A 5-year-old owned by Gary Tanaka and trained by Bill Mott, Rose of Zollern has won 9 of 22 starts and more than $400,000, but has never won a graded stakes or a race beyond a mile. Also probable for the race are Lady Melesi, Humble Clerk, Maltese Superb, Taste the Passion, Adam's Time, and Lakenheath.