06/17/2007 11:00PM

Rey Del Sol going good


CHICAGO - Welcome to Wednesdays.

In a successful effort to boost field size and condense whatever excitement still exists on the Chicago circuit, Arlington Park scaled back its race week from five days to four the first seven weeks of this season. Beginning now, the race week stretches to five days - Wednesday through Sunday - until the meet wraps up in mid-September. There will, however, generally be only five more races per week than during the meet's first phase, with most racing programs reduced from 10 races to nine.

Wednesday, Thursday, dirt, Polytrack, or turf - Rey Del Sol doesn't seem to care. He won his debut two springs ago sprinting on the Hawthorne dirt, captured his second race on the Hawthorne turf last fall, and on May 28 scored an impressive victory in an Illinois-bred second-level allowance race on Arlington's all-weather surface.

In theory, the featured eighth race Wednesday should be a much tougher spot for Rey Del Sol. This grass race isn't Illinois-bred restricted, and it is open to accomplished dirt horses. The restrictive conditions hinge on a prior lack of turf success. Rey Del Sol qualifies to start since his Illinois-bred turf allowance win last fall doesn't count here, and he may slot in quite nicely with this group.

"He's running pretty good right now," said trainer Moises Yanez.

Nine other horses were entered in the 1 1/16-mile race, and it seems fair to call the race contentious. You've got horses like Holy City, who has won six races but is 0-1 on turf, and seven-time winner Meadow Vespers, a Great Lakes shipper who never has raced on grass. Storming Eddie has won only 1 of 12 starts on the Arlington turf, but often is close, and Dancer Type has three turf wins over claimers.

Rey Del Sol, however, could run back to or even improve upon his last-out victory, a three-length score in a one-turn Polytrack mile. Rey Del Sol finished 10th 13 months ago in his grass debut, but that was only his second start, and by Yanez's reckoning, the horse was simply lost that day.

"The first time we tried him on the turf, he was bucking and jumping most of the way," Yanez said. "I think he was kind of surprised by the turf, because he didn't do anything like that before on the main track."

But last October, in his second grass try, Rey Del Sol raced professionally, settling and finishing well for a 2 3/4-length win. A similar performance could net another victory - on Arlington's first Wednesday.