06/25/2009 11:00PM

Marquee Event gets setup of speed


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - There have been a couple slow days of entries recently at Arlington Park, but one wouldn't know it from looking at the back end of Sunday's 10-race program.

Race 8, for open entry-level allowance horses or $50,000 claimers, and carded for six furlongs on Polytrack, drew a field of 12. Race 9, which is for Illinois-bred entry-level turf allowance routers, attracted 14 entries, 12 in the field's main body and two on the also-eligible list.

The main-track sprint is complex, with horses having last raced at five different venues - Lingfield, in England, being the most distant - and form that's all over the map, too. What does seem likely is a fast pace, or at least a contested one, since as of Friday, there was absolutely nothing fast about Arlington's main track. Sprint races were being run with route-like fractional times, and in one early six-furlong race, the winner barely shaded 1:15.

Still, there are perhaps four horses who figure to be interested in making the lead, and that should be enough to set things up for something off the pace, the leading candidate being Marquee Event. A decent fourth two races ago in his synthetic-track debut, Marquee Event rushed from fifth at the stretch call to second by a neck at the finish in a race at this class level June 6. He has since posted a sharp five-furlong work, and trainer Donnie Von Hemel will add blinkers to Marquee Event's equipment for Sunday's race.

Coach Gravy had little pace at which to run when he finished second on May 31. My Man Moran won his maiden on the Arlington main track last summer and could factor at a price.

The Illinois-bred grass race has, in Princeville Condo, a horse who might wind up a defined favorite. Princeville Condo won his career debut in a turf route at Arlington last summer and was third of 12 in a strong grass heat last August before going on a long vacation. Back to the races on May 17, Princeville Condo rallied from mid-pack to finish second in an Illinois first-level turf allowance, beaten by a sharp horse named My Sonny Boy, and in front of Lemonade Kid, who came back to win his next start.

But before emptying the kids' college fund, note that Princeville Condo did not post a published work for some five weeks after that race. Moreover, both Chris Block-trained entrants, especially Triple Check but also Swift Pine, look good enough to win.