06/16/2008 11:00PM

Holy Go could start Janks turnaround


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Arlington's meet is the one the trainer Christine Janks keys on each year, and in recent seasons her barn has rolled through the summer. Last year's meet was strong enough, with Janks notching 22 wins and winding up sixth in the trainer standings, and Janks had an excellent 2006, winning 28 races, going 11 for 27 in stakes competition, and finishing fifth in the standings.

But this year at Arlington, Janks was a somewhat startling 3 for 44 going into this week's racing.

"I've kind of been under a dark cloud," Janks said, when reached by phone Tuesday morning.

Racing success runs in cycles, for sure, and Janks makes the salient point that she can't recall too many instances this meet where she clearly had the horse to beat.

"I can't really say that there were a whole lot of races when I thought I should have won," she said.

That's very much the case in the featured seventh race on Thursday, a second-level allowance carded for one mile on Polytrack. The race drew a highly competitive field of eight, and showing up only faintly on the radar is the Janks-trained Holy Go. But the Janks barn is bound to start turning things around soon, and Holy Go could provide a point of departure.

A 4-year-old by Kentucky Derby winner Go for Gin, Holy Go is making the often-difficult jump from an Illinois-bred second-level allowance into unrestricted allowance-race competition. But he won his most recent start, back on April 14 at Hawthorne, in fairly impressive fashion, and has posted a series of encouraging workouts for his start on Thursday.

"I think he can run well," said Janks. "For whatever reason, he's come back a lot better this year than last year."

Favoritism in the feature might fall to Inner Light, who is exiting a fourth-place finish in the Matt Winn Stakes last out at Churchill Downs, a performance that followed a 42-length drubbing in the Wood Memorial. Inner Light, trained by Bill Mott and to be ridden by Rene Douglas, has never raced on Polytrack, but won a one-turn mile race earlier this year at Gulfstream Park.

Also coming out of the Matt Winn is St. Joe, who finished more than eight lengths behind Inner Light last time, but who has won twice over Keeneland's Polytrack.

Gangbuster was seventh last out in the Arlington Classic, a turf stakes, but was beaten by fewer than three lengths in the race, and looks competitive in Thursday's tilt.