Updated on 09/18/2011 12:24AM

Nicole's Dream back in form


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Nicole's Dream's turf course record is safe after all. Now, maybe she'll go out and set another one.

A nice filly named Tally Ho Dixie eclipsed Nicole's Dream's 56.38-second standard for about five furlongs on turf in an ordinary allowance race June 23, running a somewhat unbelievable time of 55.76 seconds. This weekend, Arlington made official what had seemed clear: the time was too fast (timed from video, Tally Ho Dixie ran 57.40), and Nicole's Dream's name stays on the books.

She returns to the Arlington turf course Tuesday in the Smile Stakes, facing - as she has done many times before - a field full of colts and geldings. Nicole's Dream may be favored to beat them. She has won the Smile before, and after a failed trip to Hong Kong last winter, and a poor race to start her 2006 campaign, Nicole's Dream has come right back into form at age 6. She beat males in a Canterbury turf-sprint stakes May 29, and finished second June 10 in an overnight sprint stakes at Churchill Downs.

has won an amazing 17 of 32 turf races, and has been almost unbeatable at Arlington, going 8 for 10. But the $40,000 Smile could spell trouble, depending on who runs and who scratches. Nicole's Dream usually breaks on top and goes to the front, but there is serious, serious pace in the Smile. Danieltown has Quarter Horse speed, and the sharp turf sprinter Chaotic Achiever has been in front at the first call of five-furlong races in 11 of his last 12 starts. Stretch runners Rockhurst and Sampson's Son will be running late, but another possible upsetter, Wonone, should be stalking.

was one of two horses entered by trainer Dale Bennett, but Bennett said Wonone is running and Mr. D'Or is scratching. And Bennett thinks highly of Wonone, who hasn't raced since Sept. 11.

"He's a stone runner," Bennett said. "If he's the kind of horse I think he is, he should be right there."

Wonone had bone chips removed from his ankles and was gelded since he last raced. "He's like a new horse now," Bennett said. And Wonone has three times shown he can fire fresh, winning his career debut and a comeback race, and finishing second in another return from a layoff.

While Woneone never has tried turf, he is out of an Irish-bred mare and is by Grand Slam, whose progeny often handle grass. Nicole's Dream should be tough, but Wonone might get the better trip in the Smile.