06/27/2002 11:00PM

Lavin-Proctor return to their old stomping grounds


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - After a five-year absence, Leonard Lavin's Glen Hill Farm and trainer Tom Proctor are back at Arlington. But don't expect as much production from their short string here this year as was seen in the 1990's.

Proctor and Lavin, who lives in Glencoe, Ill., were fixtures here in the 1990's. They won 21 races in 1992 and campaigned One Dreamer at Arlington for three years, including 1994, the year she won the Breeders' Cup Distaff at 47-1.

Now, Proctor moves from coast to coast with different factions of the 25 or so homebred horses that Lavin has in training.

From Gulfstream in the winter, the operation moves to the Midwest and into Del Mar later in the summer. To the menu this year was added Arlington, where 12 horses will spend the summer and part of the fall.

"It's a good place to race, always has been," Proctor said. "We have some horses that fit in up there. There are some 2-year-olds I kind of like."

No One Dreamers, though. Lavin's best horse at the moment may be the late-blooming Bonus Pack, who Proctor said is slated to race in the Dominion Day Handicap at Woodbine on Monday.

"He may show up at Arlington later on," Proctor said.

Proctor has been training privately for Lavin since 1982. Their relationship with Earlie Fires is just about as old.

Still going strong here at age 55, Fires continues to ride all of Glen Hill's Chicago horses.

Boyce shopping for spots for two fillies

With Ellie's Rose and Pass the Pepper, Trainer Michelle Boyce has a couple of pretty nice fillies in her barn right now. What she needs now is a place to run them.

Last weekend, Ellie's Rose, a horse Boyce claimed last fall for $25,000, won the Lincoln Heritage Handicap here, a statebred turf race.

There are no more restricted stakes like that the rest of this meet, and Boyce isn't sure Ellie's Rose is up to running in the Grade 3 Modesty, the next turf stakes on the local agenda.

"That would be pretty salty for her," Boyce said. "We'll look and see what other things are out there."

Ellie's Rose had never set foot on a turf course when Boyce claimed her, but in three starts since the claim - all on turf - she has won twice and finished second once.

"I wasn't quite sure about grass, but she was sprinting and I thought she'd want to go a route of ground," said Boyce. "I'm pleasantly surprised at how well she's done on grass. She sits back there and lollygags around, then she just explodes."

Meanwhile, the undefeated 3-year-old filly Pass the Pepper will try to win her fourth straight race - somewhere. Pass the Pepper, who has won all her starts by at least two lengths, worked a strong five furlongs in 1:00.40 Friday at Arlington, but Boyce isn't sure where she'll next start. The July 3 Iowa Oaks at Prairie Meadows still is "a longshot option," Boyce said, but Boyce is inclined not to ship Pass the Pepper for that race.

"That would be her first time around two turns, and she'd be shipping in this heat," Boyce said. "My experience is that tends to knock a horse out."

Boyce also is considering an overnight handicap here on July 20.