07/20/2008 11:00PM

Papa looks for repeat win


With the Churchill Downs spring meet having ended, horses from Kentucky stables will be more active during the last two months or so of the Arlington Park meet.

The difference is subtle, since many horses are basically interchangeable between venues. In fact, although trainer Dallas Stewart raced primarily at Churchill through meet's end July 6, he also had the occasional starter at Arlington, with a 3-year-old gelding named Papa giving him one of his two victories thus far at the Arlington Heights, Ill., track.

Papa, owned by Lexington, Ky., businessman Mark Stanley, is one of six horses entered in the nominal feature Wednesday at Arlington.

With such a short field, the second-level allowance was carded early, as race 2, on a program that consists of only eight races and begins at the usual 1:20 p.m. Central.

Papa made the six-hour van ride to Arlington from Churchill before facing five rivals in an entry-level allowance sprint in his most recent start June 26. Trailing to the quarter pole, he suddenly uncorked an explosive rally, whizzing past the entire field to win by two lengths under Chris Emigh.

Rene Douglas, the leading rider at the Arlington meet as usual, will take over the mount Wednesday.

Papa, by Mizzen Mast, will break from post 3 in the race, which is at seven furlongs on Polytrack and has a $32,500 purse.

The main challenger appears to be Inner Light, most recently a distant second as the favorite at this same condition when going a mile on Polytrack on June 19. Eddie Razo replaces Douglas aboard Inner Light, a 3-year-old colt trained by Bill Mott.

Other possibilities include Alabama Gold, turning back after showing speed in recent races around two turns, and Variant, who outran long odds when earning checks in his last two starts.

Churubusco and Infectious Spirit complete the lineup.

Later on the card, split divisions of a $30,500 entry-level allowance for statebred fillies and mares at about a mile on turf will be run as races 6 and 8.

In the sixth, Kentucky invader Exploit the Sun, with Douglas riding for trainer Helen Pitts, is a logical favorite after losing by a nose under virtually identical conditions.

In the eighth, one more Kentucky shipper, Classic Choice, figures to take solid play after making a sustained run in her latest, an off-the-turf Polytrack race at Arlington on June 29.