05/24/2005 12:00AM

Quiet Style playable now, while still on his way up

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CHICAGO - The 3-year-old colt Quiet Style was a sharp winner of his most recent start, on May 7 at Hawthorne. Too sharp, in fact, for his trainer's liking.

"He didn't relax too good the other day," said Hugh Robertson, who owns and trains Quiet Style. "He wanted to run up there and show more speed than I wanted him to show."

If Quiet Style didn't perform to perfection, it worked well enough going six furlongs against overmatched maidens at Hawthorne. But he might need a more professional, concentrated effort to win again in Thursday's seventh race at Arlington Park. Quiet Style is one of nine 3-year-olds entered in a seven-furlong first-level allowance race also open to $50,000 claimers. Two other allowance races, both for Illinois-breds at two turns on turf, made it onto the nine-race card.

, a $40,000 yearling buy by Quiet American, is a hulk of a horse, standing more than 17 hands tall, according to Robertson. "He's such a big horse," he said. "I'm hoping [Arlington's] big sweeping turns will be more to his liking."

It's not that Quiet Style has hugely disappointed. He had a terrible trip when he finished fourth of 11 making his career debut Feb. 11 at Oaklawn Park, then finished an even fourth there in another maiden race two months later. The Hawthorne maiden win was something of a breakthrough, but Quiet Style has hinted at real ability, and sits on the cusp of becoming at least a cut above average. The move to seven furlongs Thursday should help; even better might be a switch to two turns.

"He's a decent horse, but really the only way he's going to be a good horse is if can he run long," said Robertson.

Decent, however, could be good enough to win Thursday's race. On the rail is , who makes his first start for Chris Block, a trainer winning with 40 percent of his starters this meet. Gully Washer finished second as an odds-on favorite at Lone Star Park in his last start, but a speed duel undid him in that six-furlong race, and Gully Washer's speed should prove more effective at this seven-furlong distance.

Another obvious contender is , who finished fourth last out in the $143,000 Lost Code Stakes at Arlington, and probably has improved 10 lengths this season after a modestly productive, eight-start 2-year-old campaign in 2004.