08/14/2007 12:00AM

Iosilver sharp for return from 10-month layoff


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Rain last week, rain this week. And as far as trainer Chris Block is concerned, let the rain keep coming.

Arlington's turf course already was listed as "soft" on Sunday, and the track had another wet morning Tuesday. One more round of showers, and the featured eighth race on Thursday probably would come off the grass.

That would be fine with Block, at least regarding Iosilver. A terror the second half of his 4-year-old campaign in 2005, Iosilver had a relatively unproductive 2006, and now Block has him set for his first start since October.

"I wish I could run him on the Poly," Block said. "He's just eating it up in the morning; his works have been very, very solid all along."

Iosilver was one of seven horses entered in the featured eighth race, carded for fourth-level allowance horses or $80,000 claimers at 1 1/8 miles on grass. Even if the race remains on turf, Block said he is inclined to let Iosilver start.

"I'd say we'll probably go ahead and run him," Block said. "I don't want to, but there's really nowhere else right now. He needs to run somewhere."

Iosilver won his maiden on turf, but Block said that "was just a race," and that Iosilver wasn't likely to produce his best effort on grass. Even so, he could affect the race's outcome. Drawn on the rail is the likely favorite, I Believe in Me, whose best races all have come on the lead - just like Iosilver's have.

It's reasonable to question whether Iosilver is comfortable enough on turf to show his customary speed, but even if he fails to keep pace early, I Believe in Me might have company from Majestic Zeal, who was third to Fort Prado in the Black Tie Affair Handicap last out, or Major Rhythm, who will be ridden by Earlie Fires, who regularly sends horses to the lead.

Being 3 for 3 in 1 1/8-mile grass races, I Believe in Me commands respect, but the upset pick for turf is Come on Jazz. Come on Jazz didn't show up in the July 21 Arlington Handicap, finishing last of nine, well behind I Believe in Me. But in two prior stakes starts this meet, Come on Jazz had run much better.

Draw a line through that last-start flop, and he begins to look like a square-priced contender Thursday.