08/07/2008 12:00AM

Happiness Is's streak at risk


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - What has gotten into the 4-year-old filly Happiness Is? A maiden winner in March 2007 at Gulfstream Park, Happiness Is proceeded to make eight losing starts in entry-level allowance races, never finishing better than fourth - and then she came to Arlington Park.

On June 13, at odds of 15-1, Happiness Is tried still another first-level allowance, set a wildly fast two-turn turf pace on a course rated soft, and easily held clear all closers, winning by almost three lengths. What's more, she came back a month later and wired a second-level turf allowance race by two lengths here.

Could Happiness Is make it three straight? We will find out in the featured fifth race on Friday at Arlington, where Happiness Is will face just five rivals in a third-level grass allowance race carded for about 1 1/16 miles.

Trained by Tom Proctor, Happiness Is might encounter more pace pressure this start than she has in her last two, but it is equally possible that the other potential front-end horse, Awesome Ashley, will want no part of Happiness Is-type fractions. If Awesome Ashley - a win contender in her own right for trainer Todd Pletcher - chooses not to go, Happiness Is could find herself in a familiar Arlington position, loose and lonely turning into the turf-course homestretch.

At the same time, all good things must come to an end, and You Dancing Devil could put a halt to Happiness Is's little win streak. You Dancing Devil is on a streak of her own, but not the positive kind. The 6-year-old mare has lost her last six races, and has not had much luck in any of them. Second at this class level here July 18, You Dancing Devil had to steady in midstretch while trying to rally into an impossibly slow pace - 27 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, and 53 seconds to the half. She finished well enough for a clear second in the race, and could easily break through on Friday.

Queendom won two straight races here last season for trainer Carl Nafzger, but has not looked like quite the same horse in two recent races following a layoff of almost a year, finishing fifth behind You Dancing Devil in her latest effort.

Proctor has a second horse for the race, Aidan's Bella, who checked in two lengths behind You Dancing Devil.

The field is completed by Labar, who drops in class from the Grade 3 Modesty Handicap, where she was trounced by more than 16 lengths.