Updated on 09/17/2011 6:19PM

Jaguar Friend looms closest thing to a lock


COLLINSVILLE, Ill. - If there is one sure thing on Illinois Day, it's that Lou O'Brien's stable will be well represented.

"It's the best all-around card that we have," said O'Brien, the leading owner at Fairmount Park. "Illinois Day is a fun day."

Fun, always, but Fairmount racing director Bobby Pace nonetheless laments the comparatively thin fields in this year's undercard stakes.

"I wish the fields were bigger, but a lot of races are real competitive," said Pace. "I don't think there will be too many overwhelming favorites."

Except maybe in the $35,000 Tex's Zing Stakes, a six-furlong race for 3-year-old colts and geldings, where it's hard to see how a horse other than Chicago shipper Jaguar Friend ends up in the winner's circle. Racing in classy stakes company at Arlington and Hawthorne, Jaguar Friend lays claim to the high Beyer Speed Figure in the field and is five for six in the money at this distance.

If he is to be beaten, either the upstate-stabled Kemp or the home track's Knowwhatimean will likely be the upsetter.

The winner of two straight allowance races at this distance on his home surface, Knowwhatimean has top Fairmount jock Ramsey Zimmerman aboard. Should he go off at odds anywhere close to his morning line of 4-1, he will be a superb value play.

Miss Outrageous dangerous

In the other 3-year-old stakes sprint, the Slight in the Rear Stakes for fillies, two of Fairmount's most honest racehorses will look to stifle Chicago shipper Miss Outrageous, who picks up top national jock Rafael Bejarano. Miss Outrageous looked formidable in an Aug. 5 allowance race at Arlington, putting five lengths between herself and runner-up Jaguar City.

Cart's Maybe So, trained locally by Carmelo Mendoza, has only been out of the money three times in nine races in 2004, with two of those off-the-board finishes coming on sloppy tracks. Lady Riss, the morning line favorite at 6-5, holds the high Beyer in the field by virtue of a sterling victory in the mile and 70-yard Genuine Risk Handicap on July 17 at Fairmount. But while Lady Riss rarely misses the money, she has yet to go route-to-sprint in her 10-race career.

Charlotteohara favored

Trainer Eddie Essenpreis will field 2-year-olds in each of the two juvenile features, with his Charlotteohara a 3-1 morning line favorite in the six-furlong All Sold Out Stakes. With Mike Gale aboard, Charlotteohara was not challenged in her lone competitive venture, a 4 1/4-length

victory at four furlongs on July 2. Although a longshot, Royal Riley, who picks up hot jockey Tommy Pompell, should not be underestimated, having posted a smoothly paced 3 1/4-length victory at five furlongs on Aug. 7.

For the males, the six-furlong Marluel's Troy Stakes is fixing to be a match race between Chicago shipper Barken, who won his maiden with a strong 69 Beyer at five furlongs on July 17 at Arlington, and Fairmount Park owner William Stiritz's horse Foxie's Boy, who won out of the chute at Arlington before nabbing third in a $50,000 2-year-old stakes race at Prairie Meadows on July 1.