06/25/2002 11:00PM

Lemon Haze in nice spot


CHICAGO - Gene Cilio basically divides his time between three places: Chicago's west side, Arlington Heights, and New Orleans.

You're not going to find many Mardi Gras parades in the Chicago's northwest suburbs, nor will Arlington's luxurious outdoor paddock ever be confused with gritty Sportsman's Park or Hawthorne. And, it's obvious to Cilio, you can't run the same horses in all three places, either.

"I have two types of horses," Cilio said. "I have horses for Sportsman's and Hawthorne, and I have horses for Fair Grounds and Arlington. You don't run the same horses 12 months a year - at least I don't."

And Cilio's Arlington types have been faring well, especially horses who have been geared up expressly to run here. Bolt was beaten a neck in his comeback, while the 3-year-olds Tinker and Fidget both won coming back from layoffs. Friday, Cilio's Arlington fodder is Lemon Haze, who already has run at the meet, finishing second to the unbeaten Copper Belle.

She should have an easier time with her six opponents in Friday's feature, a second-level sprint allowance for 3-year-old fillies.

Lemon Haze won her maiden here by almost three lengths last summer and took a first-level allowance Jan. 31 at Fair Grounds. In the eight other starts she has made, Lemon Haze has run into several high-quality fillies, horses like Chamrousse, Maliziosa and Party Queen.

"She'll beat one of those good horses one of these times," Cilio said.

Also, Cilio tried Lemon Haze twice in turf routes, and though she ran respectably both times, one-turn dirt race's like Friday's seem to be her forte. In her June 12 start, she was compromised by a bobbling start, and though she was no match for Copper Belle, Lemon Haze finished four lengths ahead of the third-place horse.

Honest Deceiver, a $400,000 sales purchase who is a sister to Yes It's True, won the $60,000 Eliza here last summer as a 2-year-old, but has gone winless in eight subsequent starts. In a June 6 sprint allowance here, she was in contention coming off the turn but had no rally and finished third, beaten almost four lengths.

She returns in Friday's race, as does the horse who finished right in front of her last time, I Love Lisa. I Love Lisa, who debuted here last summer with a six-length win in a maiden claimer, has finished first in three of her five starts, but was disqualified from her last win, on April 13 at Sportsman's, for interference in the stretch.

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