04/03/2009 11:00PM

Lawn back in familiar territory


STICKNEY, Ill. - It was not an easy go for trainer Brian Williamson, a Chicago mainstay, in his first winter at Oaklawn Park. Typical of his luck there was a filly named Lawn. Three times she was favored to win Oaklawn allowance races, and three times she failed, with a third and two seconds. But if Williamson is happy to be back in Chicago, so may be Lawn, who once again looks like the horse to beat, this time in the featured sixth race on Monday at Hawthorne.

Lawn, an Illinois-bred, was one of seven horses entered in an open second-level route allowance, and she is coupled with another Williamson-trained horse, En Trance. A 5-year-old mare by the solid stallion Slew City Slew, Lawn actually won a race at this class level here on Dec. 4, but remains eligible for the condition since her Illinois-bred entry-level allowance victory does not count against her in the conditions of this race. Lawn is no more than strictly allowance-class, but she consistently runs her race, and has the tactical speed to make the best of a rail draw Monday. The young rider Lyndie Wade, who nearly called an early halt to his career last year, has the mount, and is in the midst of a very decent run here at Hawthorne.

Drawn just outside Lawn is On the Quiet, who easily cleared her first Illinois-bred allowance condition when last seen here in January. On the Quiet steps up in class, but has a favorable work pattern for trainer Richard Hazelton, who has gone 5 for 13 so far this meet.

And just outside On the Quiet is Sweet Aptitude, who is in from Fair Grounds for trainer Bobby Springer. The New Orleans-to-Chicago move exactly one year ago produced Sweet Aptitude's last win, as she rallied to win an entry-level route allowance here by two lengths.

More than slightly surprising is the fact that race 6 is one of four allowance races on the Monday program, with three Illinois-bred allowances races - two of the entry-level variety, the other a "two-other-than" - also carded. The most interesting of these may be race 8, which has several apparent contenders among a field of nine. Sorrel of the Sea scored a 5 1/2-length debut victory here March 21, while King Ajax won the male division of a local sales stakes by more than seven lengths the same afternoon. The pick, however, is layoff horse Last Wompus, who was good enough last year at 2 to finish third behind Devil's Halo and My Dominick James in the Sun Power Stakes over this surface.