05/22/2005 11:00PM

Rain would help Ward filly's cause


CHICAGO - If a trainer's barn-office television isn't tuned into ESPN, it's definitely tuned into The Weather Channel. With training regimens and entries to handle, almost all of a horseman's worklife has weather at its center. Usually, people are trying to dodge the rain. Trainer John Ward hopes to coax some from the skies over Arlington Park.

For the second straight racing day, Ward has entered the unbeaten filly For All We Know in a second-level allowance race scheduled for two turns on turf. Right now, though, Ward wants neither turf nor two turns for For All We Know, who was entered for the main track only. What Ward wants is a one-turn dirt prep race for the Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes on June 25 at Belmont.

"I guess we're hoping for rain right now," said Ward, the Kentucky-based trainer who has sent a string of nice horses to Arlington for the summer.

No precipitation came Sunday, and Wednesday isn't promising, either. Local weather patterns have been tumultuous lately, but as of Monday, rain wasn't forecast for Wednesday, and For All We Know might be left out of the eighth race, scheduled at about one mile on turf for 3-year-old second-level allowance horses or $62,500 claimers. If the race stays on grass, For All We Know is headed east, where she could prep for the Mother Goose in a Belmont allowance race or, "if worse comes to worst," Ward said, on June 4 at Monmouth Park.

Also shipping to New York will be another stakes-class 3-year-old filly, Seek a Star, who runs June 4 in the Grade 1 Acorn. Ward said Seek a Star is scheduled to work here Wednesday.

If it remains on turf, Wednesday's featured eighth has come up a solid race. Polish Grove turned in a non-effort April 24 in the Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland, finishing seventh, but before that flop she was a smart winner in a pair of grass races at Fair Grounds.

Others who could have a say in the outcome include Stormy Venus and The Bohemian Girl, two fillies who have never tried grass.

Race 6, a second-level sprint allowance for Illinois-bred fillies, also bears watching. The 3-year-old Pretty Jenny, unbeaten in two starts and a stakes winner in her last race, is prepping for the Purple Violet Stakes here June 25. She faces Slewville, who won last year's Purple Violet and is getting ready for the Isaac Murphy Handicap, another of the June 26 Illinois-bred stakes races.

Bridgmohan thrives in new setting

Shaun Bridgmohan spent about 13 hours driving from New York in the days just before the May 13 launch of the Arlington meet, plenty of time to conjure brilliant visions of what his new life - away from the New York circuit for the first time - might be like. For Bridgmohan, reality is turning out to be as good as fantasy.

Through Sunday, after eight racing days here, Bridgmohan has vaulted to the top of the jockey standings. He has 14 wins from 38 mounts, six more victories than his closest pursuer, Eddie Razo, and Bridgmohan's $250,116 in purse money is close to $100,000 more than the next-highest total. On Saturday alone he rode five winners, one less than he had between May 13 and May 22 in 2004, when he toiled at Belmont Park.

"It's a lot of fun," Bridgmohan said Monday, reached in the jockeys' room at Woodbine, where he was to ride the Eclipse Handicap later in the day. "You always enjoy winning races."

Bridgmohan was quick to credit his agent, Dennis Cooper, who guided Rene Douglas to riding titles the last four seasons at Arlington. Cooper has been lining up mounts from several trainers, including Wayne Catalano, who tops the meet with seven wins, and Steve Hobby, who has five. Bridgmohan has also been aboard the winner of both Saturday overnight stakes races, most recently guiding My Ro to victory this past Saturday in the Fit for a Queen Stakes.

"I came here with expectations, but everything is coming together for me really well," said Bridgmohan.

Crafty Shaw expected to defend title

Between seven and 10 horses, including 2004 winner Crafty Shaw, are expected for Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Hanshin Handicap, the first real stakes race of the Arlington meet.

A 7-year-old, Crafty Shaw hasn't started since last October, but he has been breezing steadily at Churchill Downs for trainer Pete Vestal and is expected to be among those entered in the one-mile Hanshin when the race is drawn Wednesday. Other possible starters are Goulding's Green, Grin and Frown, Home of Stars, Lord of the Game, Missme, Nkosi Reigns, Pass Rush, Pirate King, and Stormy Impact.