01/17/2008 12:00AM

Kathleens Reel grabs inside post


Not too many moons ago, Ray Sibille and Greg Geier regularly crossed paths. Sibille, the jockey, would ride horses for Geier's boss, the trainer Gene Cilio. Now, both are trainers on their own, and each has a horse for the Saturday feature at Fair Grounds, the $60,000 Truly Bound Handicap.

Sibille will send out the very decent Kathleens Reel, who won her first stakes on Dec. 28 at Delta Downs, one race after she was third, beaten a neck and a head by the victorious Geier-trained Coolwind, who also races in the Truly Bound. While Kathleens Reel fared well at the post-position draw, landing the rail, Coolwind is marooned on the outside of an 11-horse field, a difficult spot in a 1 1/16-mile dirt race.

"That's something you don't control at all, but I wish we could have gotten a better hole," Geier said.

Sibille, a native Louisianian, has eight horses stabled at the Fair Grounds. He took out his training license about 2 1/2 years ago, and has gradually built up his stable, with Kathleens Reel representing his high-water mark in terms of quality. A 4-year-old filly, Kathleens Reel is owned by a partnership racing as Eagle Valley Farms, and though she is a daughter of Lemon Drop Kid, she was purchased for jut $5,000 at the Keeneland September sale of 2005.

"One of the partners saw her walk into the ring and said she looked good," Sibille said. "He made one bid, the $5,000, he got her, and he said, 'Oh lord, what did I do?' "

But there was nothing amiss with Kathleens Reel that would keep her from becoming a racehorse. She looked okay from the start, and really found her stride when Sibille stretched her out to two turns. When Coolwind beat her at Delta, it was at seven furlongs, and at the Truly Bound's longer distance, Kathleens Reel might rate an edge.

There are other horses, of course, with whom to deal, and chief among them might be Tammy's Victress, who impressively won a third-level allowance race around two turns on Dec. 13 at Fair Grounds. Tammy's Victress hasn't posted a timed workout since, but that's hardly unusual for a Larry Jones-trained filly.

"It's kind of a silly thing I do with a lot of them," Jones said. "A lot of people that watch me gallop, they say I breeze them every morning."

Tammy's Victress spent the first large chunk of her career as a sprinter, and at most, her pedigree speaks to middle distances around one turn. But as soon as Jones stretched her out, Tammy's Victress began improving, and her win about five weeks ago probably was a career-best effort.

Risen Star candidates face off

It would be no surprise to see the winner of Saturday's seventh race, an entry-level dirt route for 3-year-olds, return for the Risen Star Stakes in three weeks. On paper, the race is a showdown between Unbridled Vicar, trained by Geier, and Denis of Cork, who looked like a stakes horse in the making when he won his career debut on Nov. 24 at Churchill Downs.

Unbridled Vicar was a good closing second behind subsequent Lecomte Stakes show horse Mad Flatter in his most recent start, while Denis of Cork, patiently handled by trainer David Carroll, makes his first race since the Churchill Downs meet, and tries two turns for the first time.