06/18/2009 11:00PM

Going Ballistic baffles trainer

Orona Photography
Going Ballistic is winless since the Oklahoma Derby in October 2007.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Going Ballistic's career still would rate as a raging success even if he went winless the rest of his racing days. Unfortunately, that's starting to feel possible.

Going Ballistic hasn't seen the winner's circle since he won the $300,000 Oklahoma Derby on Oct. 21, 2007, a victory that came a month after Going Ballistic won the Grade 2 Super Derby. Those wins capped an excellent 3-year-old season that provided much of Going Ballistic's $947,877 in career earnings. And that is a whopping bankroll for a horse that cost owners Mike and Mary Kindred all of $4,000 at auction.

"He's training well, but I don't know really know why he's not winning," said trainer Donnie Von Hemel. "Right now, I feel like we just need to get him in a spot where he can win again and get back his confidence."

That spot could come in Sunday's featured ninth race at Arlington. If the race, a third-level optional $62,500 claimer, is contested as carded, at one mile on turf, Going Ballistic should have a decent pace at which to run, and he may come with a contending rally. But heavy rain here Thursday and Friday threatens to move the Sunday feature onto the synthetic main track, and Going Ballistic ran poorly in his lone synthetic start. Bad luck comes in runs - but a run of two calendar years?

The new trainer Marie Biancone had some luck last Sunday, notching the first win of her training career with a maiden-claimer named Grand Symphony. Biancone, the daughter of trainer Patrick Biancone, has been out on her own for about three months now, and has 12 horses stabled at Arlington. One of them is Quasicobra, who also was entered in the Sunday feature, and whose connection have an eye on turf stakes later this meet.

Quasicobra was trained by Patrick Biancone when he finished third in the 2007 Arlington Classic here, and while in the care of trainer Dale Romans in his last eight starts, Quasicobra has displayed more Grade 3-type form. But he seemed to excel in races longer than Sunday's, and Marie Biancone conceded that the race this weekend is a means to an end.

"He was on the farm, and he's not been back in training that long," Biancone cautioned.

Going Ballistic and Quasicobra are closers, and three front-end types - Voy Por Uno Mas, General Charley, and Just Julian - have a chance, regardless of whether the race is on turf or Polytrack.