06/19/2008 11:00PM

May Night fits at the distance

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - It was in the Possibly Perfect, a minor overnight stakes race, that Jennie R. came of age last summer.

Jennie R., locally based through her career, and a claimer at the start of 2007, won the Possibly Perfect, then went on to finish a close second in the Modesty and a respectable fifth in the Grade 1 Beverly D. And if there is a prospect of her caliber entered in this year's edition of the Possibly Perfect on Sunday at Arlington Park, it is not immediately evident on paper.

A field of nine was entered in the 1 1/8-mile grass race, and even the top contenders look flawed.

May Night, a 5-year-old Kentucky-based mare who seems mostly to run to the level of competition around here, was second in a pair of Canadian Grade 2 stakes last summer. She also has a record of just 2 wins and 8 second-place finishes from 22 starts. In her most recent start, a second-level allowance race May 25 at Churchill, she finished second by a head to Kiss With a Twist, who had lost six in a row going into that race.

Still, May Night does stay the nine furlongs of the Possibly Perfect, and seems like a legitimate win threat. So does Barbette, if she can reprise the best form she showed here last summer.

Barbette was disqualified from an Ellis Park stakes win last July, and won a high-level turf race over the Arlington course by 3 1/2 lengths last Aug. 12.

"Then we tried two mile-and-a-half races," said trainer Steve Hobby, "and that was an error."

Barbette got a winter break, and returned to trainer Danny Pish in Texas for the first portion of her 2008 campaign. She won a Sam Houston stakes race in April, but finished unplaced in two more recent - and tougher - stakes at Lone Star.

"I've had her back three weeks," Hobby said. "She's doing super."

A two-horse race, however, this is not. Just-claimed Melissa's Dream could prove the only speed in the Possibly Perfect, while Angel Smoke probably is good enough for the group if she can manage the race's distance.

Demisemiquaver showed a bit of stretch spark finishing fourth last out in the Reluctant Guest on this turf course, and Polo Lounge has a decent late kick. And though Clever Strike had to struggle to win her first grass race here May 15, she raced over a soft course perhaps not to her liking.