06/11/2008 11:00PM

Lucky Copy looks best on paper

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – The Todd Pletcher stable has 8 wins from only 30 starters so far at this Arlington Park meet. Eighteen of the 30 starters finished third or better, and in 2008, Pletcher already has sent out more than 100 winners all over North America. Rene Douglas, who rides the Pletcher-trained Lucky Copy in the featured ninth race on Friday at Arlington, has won with 30?percent of his Arlington rides this season, and as for Lucky Copy, she looks like the most talented horse in a full field of second-level turf allowance competitors.

If the race were run in a vacuum, it’d probably be Lucky Copy all the way. In reality, a victory might be tougher to achieve.

The field for the Friday feature is full, with 12 horses in the main body, and Home’s the Best entered to run only on Polytrack. It also is filled with pace. Five horses are confirmed front-runners in two-turn races, and a couple of others like to stay close. Squarely lodged in the front-end contingent is Lucky Copy, who has taken a clear early lead in her two starts around two turns.

Different possibilities arise. Lucky Copy might outfoot the other speeds into the first turn of this one-mile race. Douglas also could change tactics and try settling his filly off the pace. Some of the speed could scratch, and the pace could wind up much softer than it looks on paper. Or, Lucky Copy, almost certain to be favored, could just get beat.

By Unbridled’s Song, Lucky Copy is 2-0-1 from her 4 starts on turf. She beat Ginger Brew on the Gulfstream Park lawn this past winter, and that talented filly just won the Woodbine Oaks. In her most recent start, back on March 9, Lucky Copy set the pace on a “good” course before fading to fourth in a race won by the decent filly I Lost My Choo, with graded-stakes-class Shes All Eltish second.

There are no horses of that quality entered in the Friday feature, but there are potential upsetters. Trainer Dave Kassen made mention a couple weeks ago of the sudden form turnaround put together by Quiet Queen, who won 4 of 7 starts after losing her first nine. Quiet Queen won twice over the Gulfstream grass before she reared at the break and lost her chance in a race at this class level here May 18.

Like Quiet Queen, Now also could benefit from a contested early pace. Now’s late-running style has netted her eight third-or-better finishes on the Arlington grass course, and she brings an appealing workout pattern to her first start since November.