07/19/2005 12:00AM

Looks like Mr. C Note's time to cash


CHICAGO - A neck here, a half-length there - the difference between a good meet and a disappointing one for a mid-level trainer often comes down to a few close races.

Tony Granitz's racing luck has not been good at Arlington. He has three victories, but was disqualified from another, and he has seen 16 of his 39 starters finish second or third. With any sort of nod from good fortune, Granitz is going to win another one on Thursday: He sends out Mr. C Note as a solid favorite in the featured eighth race, a second-level, one-mile turf allowance for Illinois-breds.

, a 4-year-old Boundary gelding, won his career debut at two turns on turf two falls ago at Hawthorne, but it took four starts and eight long months before he won again. And after that second victory last June, Mr. C Note went back on the shelf, just showing up here during opening week this meet.

His May 13 comebacker shook off the rust, and second time back, Mr. C Note ran a winning race, only to lose by a neck at this allowance condition to a horse named Sam's Boy, who might have turned in a career-best performance to beat him. Mr. C Note stepped up in class to run in the Black Tie Affair Handicap in the Prairie State Festival, and while he is a cut below the graded-stakes class horses who topped that race, Mr. C Note didn't disgrace himself with a sixth-place finish from an outside post.

Thursday looks like his day. Both Mr. C Note's wins have come at this mile trip, and he has drawn post 1 this time, a spot from which jockey Mark Guidry - a winner of 9 of his first 30 mounts since joining the colony a week ago - can save ground and pounce coming into the stretch.

On paper, the battle comes down to Mr. C Note and Majestic Zeal, whose trainer, Moises Yanez, is having his best Arlington meet in memory. Yanez's pre-Arlington record was 6 for 96, but his stable has compiled a 14-14-14 record from 100 starters so far.

is by the aging sire Unreal Zeal, whose progeny often run well in dirt sprints, but Majestic Zeal is out of a mare by the grass sire Majestic Light, and Majestic Zeal has moved far forward in his three races since being switched to grass racing.