05/12/2010 11:00PM

Proctor has three in Illinois Owners


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Even with the retirement of talented Tight Precision this winter, trainer Tom Proctor remains amazingly well-stocked with stakes-class turf females. Three of them are entered in the filly-and-mare division of the $100,000 Illinois Owners Stakes on Saturday at Arlington.

The girls' race is carded as the ninth, the $100,000 stakes for males the 11th, and both stakes are scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on a grass course that figures to be wet after heavy rain Wednesday night into Thursday.

Course conditions could shape the face of the Proctor contingent - Ballynoe, Closeout, and You Go West Girl. Proctor said You Go West Girl remained at Churchill Downs as of Thursday and was entered as "a saver." But since she handles a rain-soaked turf course better than Closeout, You Go West Girl might be shipped to Arlington to start in the Owners Stakes, with Closeout being held out to find drier conditions another day.

Closeout and You Go West Girl are plenty qualified to factor in the Owners Stakes, with Ballynoe a longer shot, but the eight-horse field has other contenders. Romacaca came strongly to hand here last summer, running off three straight wins before finishing second in the Grade 3 Pucker Up. She was off poorly in a subpar last start, on March 20 at Gulfstream, and could rebound.

Keeping Romacaca honest on the race's front end will be Cumulonimble, who makes her first start for trainer Wayne Catalano, and her first start in 2010. Cumulonimble was somewhat disappointing early in her career but found herself last summer. She also won three straight at the Arlington meet and has the look of a filly who may be better at age 4 than at 3.

Cumulonimble turned in a six-furlong drill in 1:12.60 on April 20 and "galloped out seven-eighths strong," Catalano said.

If the race is rained onto the main track, Hooh Why, a Grade 1 winner on Polytrack, can contend.

The male division of the Illinois Owners is at least as deep and drew 11 entries. Among them is Princeville Condo, who won an open turf stakes at Fair Grounds in December before running below form there in January. An entrapped epiglottis that prevented Princeville Condo from getting his air was blamed for the subpar performance, and Princeville Condo had surgery to correct the problem. Trainer Michelle Boyce started back with Princeville Condo late this winter, and Princeville Condo may be set for a competitive showing.

Public Speaker won the $100,000 Sea O'Erin on this course last year and exits a fine Keeneland turf-allowance try. Proceed Bee captured the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby last fall over the sort of boggy turf course he might encounter Saturday.