09/11/2007 12:00AM

Janks entry a contrast in styles

EmailARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Between them, Pretty Jenny and Modjadji have won only one race from 12 starts this year, but they form a strong one-two punch on Thursday at Arlington in the Safely Kept Stakes.

Pretty Jenny generally races from on or near the lead, Modjadji from off the pace, and if tactics from the one do not succeed Thursday, the other style may prevail.

Nine horses were entered in the Safely Kept, a six-furlong Polytrack sprint with about $45,000 in overnight purse money available. If all start, the race will have eight betting interests, since Pretty Jenny and Modjadji race as a coupled, Christine Janks-trained entry.

Janks vowed earlier this year that she was turning Modjadji, an occasional route runner, into a one-turn specialist, and indeed, Modjadji's lone victory this season came at six furlongs in the Isaac Murphy Handicap for Illinois-breds back in July. Racing from sixth position in a seven-horse field that day, Modjadji rallied late under jockey James Graham to nip Pretty Jenny at the wire.

And a similar scenario could play out Thursday. In fact, there appears to be more speed entered in the Safely Kept than there was in the Isaac Murphy, which could force a strategy change for Pretty Jenny. With the outside post and perhaps five other front-runners drawn to her inside, Pretty Jenny could well be taken back to stalk the pacesetters by jockey Chris Emigh. Question is, can she be successful with that trip? The evidence says, "Maybe."

Pretty Jenny, nearly unbeatable against Illinois-breds two years ago during the dawn of her career, went through a spell during the summer of 2006 when she would drop several lengths behind the leaders, then come with a nice stretch run. That style, however, has not been seen in her five starts - all losses - this season, with Pretty Jenny prone to pace-pressing trips that have led to stretch fades.

Modjadji herself has failed to produce a top effort in her two starts since the Isaac Murphy, but the conditions weren't ripe for her in either race, the first a 7 1/2-furlong Polytrack start, the more recent a one-mile turf race on soft ground. Thursday, with Dixie's Jubilee, Excellerant, Saint Pegasus, Shriek, and Blue Canyon all likely to show some degree of early speed, Modjadji and Graham could fall into an ideal trip rallying late behind a taxing pace.