04/08/2003 11:00PM

Political Attack returns


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Some 18 months ago, a 2-year-old named Political Attack served fair warning that he could become a stakes-quality turf horse by winning a two-turn grass race at Keeneland in his fourth career start.

Twelve races later, and after having been sold to Erdenheim Farm about a year ago, Political Attack returns to Keeneland. Having fulfilled some of the promise originally held for him by winning five races and slightly more than $300,000, Political Attack is part of a well-matched group of older horses assembled for Friday's $200,000 Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland.

Political Attack was originally trained by John Hennig before former Olympic equestrian Mike Matz took over Political Attack's training shortly after Erdenheim acquired him. Although he lost eight straight races, that skid ended March 9 with Political Attack's win in the Grade 3 Canadian Turf Handicap at Gulfstream Park.

Political Attack turns back to one mile and breaks from post 4 in a field of 10 older horses. He should be able to gain a good striking position in the Maker's Mark, a Grade 2 race that annually serves as the definitive grass race of the Keeneland spring meet.

Political Attack's opposition is formidable and includes grass specialists from some of the best trainers in the world: Touch of the Blues, who won the Maker's Mark last year for Neil Drysdale; Decarchy, a consistent late runner trained by Bobby Frankel; and Miesque's Approval, a Bill Mott-trained colt who finished second as the favorite behind Political Attack in the Canadian Turf.

Touch of the Blues will be making his first start since finishing a troubled 10th in the Breeders' Cup Mile last October at Arlington. He will be seeking his first victory since jockey Kent Desormeaux made a daring move between rivals with him to win the 2002 edition.

Decarchy, a half-brother to Kentucky Derby favorite Empire Maker, is coming off a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Frank Kilroe Handicap.

Miesque's Approval has been somewhat of a disappointment after winning four of his first eight career starts, but his latest effort in Florida was an encouraging one.

Rounding out the field are Angel on the Wings, Private Son, Royal Spy, Mister Acpen, Statement, and Music's Storm.

The Maker's Mark is named for the world famous distillery, located in Loretto, Ky.