08/13/2002 11:00PM

Innit heads a classy bunch

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - The problem with many stakes races these days is that they don't seem to attract fields worthy of their purse or status. The opposite thing is going on Friday at Arlington. At $60,000-added, the Reluctant Guest doesn't seem worthy of the field it has drawn.

The Reluctant Guest, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares, drew an excellent field of eight topped by Innit, a graded stakes winner who just finished third in the Grade 3 Modesty Handicap here. Innit, owned by Arlington chairman Dick Duchossois, came to Chicago about a month ago with the Modesty and, perhaps, the Beverly D. on her agenda. But her race in the Modesty, while solid, was not strong enough to move trainer Chris Block to point Innit to the Beverly D.

"I just watched the tape again today, and I think she ran as hard as she could last time," Block said. "This should be a good spot for her."

Innit's lone win since she was imported to the United States more than a year ago came in the Grade 2 Honeymoon, but with names like Affluent, Golden Apples, and Voodoo Dancer littering her past performance lines, Innit may be in the right spot for an overdue victory.

But she will have to work for it. Since Histoire Sainte finally won a race away from New Orleans, she must be respected in the Reluctant Guest. Before an allowance win over males July 7 at Churchill, the 6-year-old Histoire Sainte, a French-bred owned by Gary Tanaka, had won only at Fair Grounds in two seasons of racing in this country. This frustrated and disappointed her connections, since Histoire Sainte had impressively won turf stakes at Fair Grounds.

"We finally got a win in Kentucky," said trainer Steve Asmussen. "She ran very bad last fall at Arlington, but she ran well there two years ago, so it's not the course."

Lady of Peace finished just behind Innit in the Modesty, while the comer in the group is Twilite Tryst, who showed on July 25 she has indeed made progress between her 3- and 4-year-old seasons. Grade 3-placed last summer, Twilite Tryst was sixth in the Possibly Perfect here July 4, but rebounded with a powerful performance in her last start, rallying strongly through the final three furlongs for a 1 1/4-length win.

Completing the field are Curious Conundrum, Five Fishes, Soccory and Tabianka.

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