09/19/2002 11:00PM

Okay, Afleet Loyd, what can you do?


CHICAGO - There are no stakes races at Arlington this weekend - there will be plenty next week - and Saturday's second-level allowance feature appears on paper to be a one-horse race. But almost any racing program is crisscrossed by tangled story lines, and Sunday's is no exception.

With only four wins in 84 starts, trainer David Hinsley has struggled through the summer, though he typically wins his share of races here. But Sunday, Hinsley will find out in the first race if Afleet Loyd is a diamond in the rough.

Hinsley and owner Richard Perkins must have watched the first race on Aug. 31 - a $25,000 maiden claimer - with growing excitement. They had put a claim in on Afleet Loyd, a maiden special weight dropper, and there he was widening a lead in the stretch to win by nine lengths. And he was theirs. Afleet Loyd gets a test for class Saturday, jumping into a first-level allowance race.

Trainer Hector Magana's summer has been as hot as Hinsley's has been cold. Magana has won with 11 of 41 starts - a strike rate of 27 percent - and has been exceptional moving up recently claimed horses.

"I've been lucky," Magana said. "I don't try to be the best. I try to make money for my clients. If I can move a horse up, I'll do it. If not, I'll do the best thing for the client."

Magana also has a horse for the first, Bold Days, but in the sixth he sends out Tiger Six, who has climbed the claiming ladder with dizzying speed this summer. Racing on the lead every time, he has won four starts in a row, for $10,000, $14,000, $18,000, and most recently for $22,500, and this time gets a shot in a $35,000 claimer.

"I knew how much he likes Arlington," Magana said of Tiger Six, who missed a year of racing before returning in April. "He's a little more relaxed now. Before, he had to be on the lead by two or three lengths, but now he can be ahead by a neck and still finish."

The fifth race pits crack starter-allowance turf horses Storybook Kid and Ivan Jay Perry against one another for the third time this meet. The tally stands at Ivan Jay Perry 2, Storybook Kid 0, but don't count the Kid out yet. A reformed conditioned claimer, he has held top form for trainer Alvin Sider for 10 months now.

As for the featured eighth, the story is quite straightforward. Valet Man, a close fourth in a very tough race last out, is a deserving heavy favorite over six rivals.

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