12/11/2009 12:00AM

This may be Sheltowee's time to shine


STICKNEY, Ill. - His 3-year-old brother, Giant Oak, just finished a close fourth late last month in the Grade 2 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs. His 4-year-old sister, Apple Martini, is a multiple stakes winner and Grade-3 placed. Saturday, it might be Sheltowee's turn to shine. Sheltowee has failed even to win a maiden race in his first five starts, but he looks as good as any horse in the $100,000 Jim Edgar Futurity for Illinois-bred 2-year-olds.

And boy, are there a lot of horses in the Edgar: Fourteen were entered, and the 1 1/16-mile dirt race could turn into a mad scramble.

Sheltowee, a Saint Liam colt, was bred and is owned by the Virginia Tarra Trust. He is the latest racehorse produced by the Crafty Oak, a strong racemare who has turned out just as well as a producer. So far, Sheltowee hasn't shown anything like the early talent of Giant Oak, but he has been making progress.

While seven of the horses in the Edgar never have raced around two turns on dirt, Sheltowee has done so three times, and he has improved in the two starts since trainer Chris Block added blinkers to the colt's race-day equipment package. On Nov. 21, Sheltowee ran his best race so far, rallying steadily into a slow pace after breaking from post 9 in a two-turn Hawthorne maiden race. He failed to run down Slewzoom, who also returns for the Edgar, but Slewzoom had by far the better trip, coasting along on a slow pace after making the lead from post 1. Sheltowee got within a half-length that day, and with more speed entered in the Edgar, Sheltowee might break through this time.

Slewzoom drew far more poorly for Saturday's race, landing post 11. He may not have enough speed to clear from there, and is far from a sure bet to repeat his recent two-turn success.

Devient Behavior has a cozier post near the inside, and was made the tepid 4-1 morning-line favorite. A fading third in the Sun Power Stakes, an Illinois-bred sprint earlier this meet, Devient Behavior finished third in an open entry-level allowance race on Nov. 21, his two-turn debut.

Seguro looks as talented as any horse in the race, but has much against him. He finished full of run when second of 11 in a six-furlong maiden race Nov. 28, but that was Seguro's career debut. Not only does he stretch out to two turns for the first time, he must do so breaking from post 13.

Durazno beat open maidens going two turns in his second career start, but did so on turf Nov. 14.