08/21/2007 11:00PM

My Chickadee, Tour d'Aura, could relish surface switch


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - My Chickadee was meant to start last Saturday in the Gardenia Stakes at Ellis Park. She got only as far as the post parade.

Brian Williamson, My Chickadee's trainer, deputized someone else to saddle My Chickadee in the Gardenia, and stayed home in Chicago. His horse might as well have, too.

"She reared up in the post parade, got all twisted up, the pony girl wound up letting go, and she was loose," Williamson said. "It wasn't a very good trip."

A late scratch in the Gardenia, My Chickadee came back to Arlington - no worse for wear - had a breeze here on Tuesday, and was entered in the featured 10th race on Friday. She was one of 12 horses entered in a second-level allowance race, and one of two from Williamson's barn. Lampoon is the other one, and like My Chickadee, she appears to have a real chance to win.

The 10th race feature was carded for 1 1/16 miles on turf, but since Chicago has turned into a tropical rain forest of late, it could easily be moved to Polytrack. And while My Chickadee has done okay on turf, she has been better on dirt and Polytrack.

"It wouldn't bother me if it came off," Williamson said.

Of course, if the race is off turf, everyone has to deal with Tour d'Aura, who has turned into a Polytrack freak. Entered main-track-only by trainer Moises Yanez, Tour d'Aura came into this meet struggling to clear her entry-level Illinois-bred allowance condition. She won at that level June 9 by more than seven lengths, captured a second-level statebred-restricted allowance next out by three, and on Aug. 9 won a race at this same open second-level allowance condition by 2 1/2 lengths. Tour d'Aura has speed and has shown a great ability to carry it over a route of ground on synthetic surfaces.

Lampoon had a troubled trip in a Fairmount Park stakes race last time out, and two races ago was second over Arlington's grass course in the Lincoln Heritage Stakes. She finished about three-quarters of a length in front of Lady Lionel that day, and Lady Lionel, another Yanez-trained horse, also is in the Friday feature with a chance to win.

Y Seven has won consecutive races at the meet, and she deserves an extra look on a wet turf course. Racing on soft ground Aug. 12, she won an entry-level allowance race by almost two lengths, finishing very strongly.