06/27/2006 11:00PM

My Chickadee faces Coolwind


CHICAGO - When Coolwind won her career debut last August at Arlington Park, My Chickadee was a growthy 2-year-old nowhere near making the races. One was ready early, the other much later, but these are the two prime players in Arlington's featured eighth race on Friday.

The prime players, that is, unless a complete lack of early speed turns strange this one-mile second-level allowance race that's also open to $50,000 claimers. , a classic late-bloomer, gangly and with a long stride, may eventually evolve into a two-turn horse. She is a far cry from a brilliant sprinter, but with post 1 and tactical speed, she and jockey Chris Emigh might find themselves in front Friday.

"I think she could win on the lead if she had to," said Brian Williamson, who trains My Chickadee for the owner Hugh King.

My Chickadee has the makings of a real racehorse. Williamson forecast as much this winter, before My Chickadee won her career debut March 24 at Hawthorne, doing basically everything wrong but still rallying home a 3 1/2-length winner. My Chickadee then lost three in a row, a victim of circumstance and her own inexperience, before winning an entry-level allowance race by seven lengths June 8 at Arlington. She has turned in only two slow works since then, but Williamson remains bullish.

"I like my horse," he said. "I had the exercise boy on her when she worked, and I just told him to go easy. She trains hard when she gallops, so I'm not worried about fitness."

He might need to worry more about , even though that filly would have run a few days ago in an entry-level allowance race that had to be scrapped when it failed to attract sufficient entries.

"There's nowhere else to run," trainer Greg Geier explained. "She's training good, and she seems to run better here than anywhere else."

Coolwind has lost six in a row since her maiden win, but she takes a significant class drop Friday. Since her career debut Coolwind has started only in stakes races, five of them of the graded variety, and last out she finished sixth with a wide trip in the Grade 3 Dogwood at Churchill Downs.

Also noteworthy in the field of six is , winner of consecutive sprint races this meet.