07/20/2005 11:00PM

Lady Riss in tough vs. males


Trainer Leroy Hellman's decision to enter his formidable 4-year-old filly Lady Riss against males in Saturday's one-mile Pete Condellone Memorial Handicap at Fairmount Park boiled down to two key factors.

Confident Lady Riss could run with the best of the locals, Hellman wanted to see whether there would be any lights-out Chicago shippers set to go in the $40,000 race.

When that answer came back negative, Hellman weighed entering Lady Riss in an upper-level allowance race at Arlington that would amount to a potentially lucrative prep for a possible stakes start at Fairmount on Aug. 6.

Hellman's verdict: "Sometimes a horse is running so good it don't matter who you run it against."

And so Lady Riss will be the lone female in the eight-horse Condellone. Far and away the track's leading earner for this meet, Lady Riss has 8 career wins and 3 runner-up finishes in 11 Fairmount starts.

None of Lady Riss's accomplishments scare rival trainer Steve Manley, who has the entry of Beabasque and Afleet Buck, the likely favorites.

"I think she's got no shot," Manley said of Lady Riss. "She's a nice filly, but I'm going to tell you something: Both my boys are runners."

Indeed they are. Afleet Buck has won 2 of his last 3, and Beabasque has 5 wins in his last 11 races, including a victory at Hoosier Park last October in which he posted a 103 Beyer Speed Figure.

Char's Bob'n Robin, who is coupled with Medlin Road, has looked sharp at Arlington of late, but distance might be an issue, as the 6-year-old hasn't run at a mile since late last year.

Lord Jones may be the value play, although this race marks quite a step up in class for the ultra-consistent 5-year-old.

* Nominations close Tuesday for four stakes races, ranging in purse value from $30,000 to $50,000, on Aug. 6. Locally based Circle C Stables is putting up $105,000 of the purse money, making it Fairmount's most lucrative day of racing since its $150,000 Fairmount Derby was discontinued in 1995.