01/22/2010 12:00AM

Illinois-bred vs. former Euro in Col. Bradley


Princeville Condo began his career racing against Illinois-breds in Chicago, while Tybalt started off in a maiden race at Newmarket for internationally known trainer John Gosden. Worlds apart at first, the paths of the two grass horses cross Saturday in the Colonel Bradley Handicap at Fair Grounds.

Eight horse were entered in the Grade 3, $100,000 Bradley, but it seems more likely that six will start in the 1 1/16-mile grass race. Glamour Guy was entered main-track-only, and Tend, who seems like a dirt horse, is cross-entered in the Louisiana Handicap on the main track.

Tybalt looked like a player in high-class middle-distance turf racing after being imported to California in 2008 and turned over to trainer Bobby Frankel. He won his North American debut, and two races later came within a neck of running down the talented grass miler Hyperbaric in the Oak Tree Mile. That would be Tybalt's final start for more than a year, and his comeback race for trainer Mike Stidham last October at Keeneland provided few clues, since Tybalt never lifted a hoof in boggy conditions. Tybalt has been working steadily and swiftly, however, and his strong late kick could suit the Fair Grounds course.

Princeville Condo, no ordinary Illinois-bred, never has finished worse than third in 10 career starts, and aced his stakes debut, winning the Dec. 26 Diliberto by a head over the Fair Grounds course. Third that day was Swains News, who has come around steadily after also missing more than a year of racing.

The Bradley also marks the first start in more than seven months for El Caballo, a pace factor who nearly pulled off a 17-1 upset in the Grade 2 Mervin Muniz Handicap last season here.