05/15/2007 12:00AM

Janks has Modjadji at a mile


CHICAGO - Trainer Christine Janks won 14 races from only 43 starters during the winter-spring race meet at Hawthorne two years ago, but that was more of the exception than the rule. At the recently concluded 2007 version of that meet, Janks went just 5 for 40, highlighting a historical truth: The Janks barn is mostly about Arlington.

Last year at Arlington, Janks put together an excellent season, winning 28 races from 130 starters, and she appears poised for another successful summer. She said during the spring that her 2-year-old crop could turn out okay, and many of her better older horses are ready for Arlington action. Count among that number both Modjadji and Yanquee Reign, two of 11 horses entered in Arlington's featured ninth race on Thursday, a high-level one-mile main-track allowance race that is also open to $50,000 claimers.

A claimer Modjadji is not, but a sprinter Janks hope she will be. Modjadji, an Illinois-bred 5-year-old mare, already has had a decent career, knocking out 5 wins and 7 seconds from 17 starts and banking almost $180,000. But most of her races have come around two turns, be it on turf or dirt, and Janks has decided that Modjadji is better suited to one-turn racing. Her most recent start came at Keeneland, where she finished a close fifth of 10 in the Grade 2 Madison Stakes, in which Modjadji raced on the inside of a generally outside-biased Keeneland synthetic surface.

"She really beat a lot of good horses and certainly was competitive at that level," Janks said. "She couldn't win, but she gave a good accounting of herself."

Modjadji came back to post an extremely fast six-furlong Polytrack breeze of 1:11.80 on May 6 at Arlington.

Modjadji looks like the horse to beat, while Yanquee Reign, decent in her own right, could be prepping for a future grass start.

"I really think she prefers the turf," Janks said.

Graded-stakes-placed Coolwind ran very poorly in her most recent start, the Sixty Sails Handicap at Hawthorne. Kindling, claimed for $50,000 out of a Keeneland victory, is a three-time Polytrack winner, while Unreal Rocket could boost exotic payoffs just by finishing third. That's possible, since an ugly line from her most recent start traces directly to a terrible trip.