04/22/2006 12:00AM

An old pro and a hot newcomer


STICKNEY, Ill. - There is a good young horse racing in the seventh race on Tuesday at Hawthorne. And shortly before that, there is a good old horse racing here.

Horseplayers and racing fans have gotten one look at Thin Green Line, who won her career debut here March 26, and won it in a fast time. Ivan Jay Perry? He's spun across your television monitors a time or two. When he starts in the sixth race, a $25,000 turf claimer, Tuesday at the National Jockey Club meet, it will mark Ivan Jay Perry's 54th trip to the post.

Thin Green Line goes in race 7, an entry-level Illinois-bred allowance at six furlongs on dirt, and while it can pay, as a handicapper, to be skeptical of lightly raced and short-priced maiden winners, Thin Green Line appears to have a great chance to start her career with two wins. Thin Green Line, a Greenwood Lake filly owned by Team Block and trained by Chris Block, is 4, which means the start of her career was delayed. Block said Thin Green Line almost was ready to race last season when she suffered a physical setback. Thought was given to simply retiring her, but Block, impressed with what he had seen of Thin Green Line, recommended rehab and a return to racing.

"We'd always liked her," Block said.

Thin Green Line ran six furlongs in 1:12.20 when she won by almost six lengths last month. The racing surface here this meet has rarely produced quick times, and Thin Green Line's performance was one of those that obviously stood out for the class level. She breaks from the rail with six rivals to her outside, but Thin Green Line had trouble at the start last time out and rallied from off the pace, so the inside draw should not be a concern.

Ivan Jay Perry, meanwhile, may well be the last horse racing by the once powerful, now pensioned Illinois stallion Zen. A 10-year-old trained for Steve Sawatske by Brian Williamson, Ivan Jay Perry consistently won for $50,000 claiming tags two years ago, and was at least mildly competitive in that sort of race last season. Lowered to $25,000 in his 2005 finale, Ivan Jay Perry finished second, and as a cool-weather kind of horse, this is the time of year, Williamson said, when Ivan Jay Perry might be at his best.