07/27/2005 12:00AM

Pretty Jenny gets hardest test


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - No Illinois-bred filly has been able to handle Pretty Jenny in the four starts of her career. On Friday, it is time to see how Pretty Jenny stacks up against open stakes horses.

Pretty Jenny was one of six 3-year-old fillies entered in the Sweetest Chant, a $45,000 overnight stakes prep for the Arlington Oaks. In a typical race at this level, Pretty Jenny would be taking only a small step up in class, having won Illinois-bred stakes in two of her last three races. But the Sweetest Chant came up tough, with several viable contenders for the Aug. 20 Arlington Oaks.

Chief among them are Miss Matched, winner of the Grade 3 Dogwood in her most recent start, and Eyes on Eddy, who finished

second to Summerly in the Silverbulletday Stakes this winter at Fair Grounds. Stormy Venus, from the hot Tom Proctor barn, also has a chance, while Modjadji (coupled with Pretty Jenny), Proud Brush, and Taylor Tot appear overmatched.

Miss Matched, purchased privately by John Oxley after her career debut last season, has won all three of her races this year, having taken an overnight stakes here opening week before scoring a mild upset in the Dogwood. Third in Miss Matched's Arlington win was Whimsy, who recently won the Iowa Oaks and is being pointed for a start in the Arlington Oaks, sans prep. Miss Matched has worked regularly for trainer John Ward, and though she won the Dogwood at two turns, should do well with the cutback in distance to a one-turn mile Friday.

The mile trip is a stretchout for Eyes on Eddy, who is better suited to distances in this range than the six furlongs of her two most recent starts. Eyes on Eddy won an entry-level allowance in mid-June and was beaten a nose in a second-level allowance race here three weeks ago.

Which gets us back to Pretty Jenny, unbeaten and untested by any horse of her age. Slewville, 4, got within a nose of Pretty Jenny in an allowance race, but Pretty Jenny, in her first start beyond a sprint distance, won the June 25 Purple Violet Stakes by more than five lengths.

"It didn't look like a mile was more of a problem," said trainer Christine Janks. "It looked like it was less.

High Expectations, a Janks-trained Illinois-bred 3-year-old colt, finished a solid third in the Round Table Stakes, his first foray into open company, and with a nice break between starts, and a strong will to win, Pretty Jenny could do even better.

"I think she's going to be very competitive, and I'm hoping she's good enough to win," said Janks. "She's undefeated, so how do you know?"