09/03/2002 11:00PM

Pain-free Lady of Peace hits peak

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Her feet are feeling no pain, the blinkers that wound up compromising her in races are gone, and Lady of Peace's career has reached its zenith.

In good form all summer at Arlington, Lady of Peace moves from an overnight stakes win during Arlington Million week to an open turf allowance, the feature on Friday's program.

In a race at about one mile on grass, she faces a small but strong field that also includes Ellie's Rose, Innit, Soccory, Twilite Tryst, and Bold Bluff.

Lady of Peace came by her bad feet genetically. "It runs in the family," trainer Bobby Springer said. "Her mother had to get treatment just to get her to her first start."

Many horses suffer from cracks on the front part of their hooves, but Lady of Peace's problems are different.

"She couldn't grow any heel," said Springer, who attributed the problem to bad circulation. But after a couple seasons of tinkering with shoes and treatments, Lady of Peace is comfortable now and showing the effects of a pain-free lifestyle on the racetrack.

Until this year, Lady of Peace had done her best at Fair Grounds, where during the 2001 season she won four times on that turf course. She won there again this year, but instead of tailing off as she had in other years, Lady of Peace has come on strong this summer, winning twice at this meet. She won an overnight stakes on July 4 and in the Aug. 18 Reluctant Guest overcame an extremely slow early pace to win going away.

She may need to do the same thing again Friday. Soccory, the controlling speed in Friday's race, was right on the pace during the Reluctant Guest but still managed to finish only fourth.

Twilite Tryst and Ellie's Rose finished one-two in a July 25 turf allowance race here, but while Twilight Tryst came back with a disappointing effort in the Reluctant Guest, Ellie's Rose has rested.

A mid-level claimer for much of her career, Ellie's Rose was claimed last fall by trainer Michelle Boyce and switched from dirt to turf racing.

On grass, she has won three times and twice finished second in five starts. Early this meet, she was an easy winner of the Lincoln Heritage Handicap. Boyce has continued to space her races well, but whether Ellie's Rose can finish with a sharp Lady of Peace remains to be seen.

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