07/31/2001 11:00PM

Sams Tune looks on the improve


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - If an effortless five-length allowance win here July 12 was any indication, Sams Tune is ready to win a stakes race. She will get that chance Friday at Arlington when she faces six other sprinting fillies in the Meafara, a $60,000-added overnight stakes that is the feature on a 10-race program.

Spanish Glitter may be favored over Sams Tune and Boggs Eyes. Trained in Kentucky by Bernie Flint, who has excelled with filly sprinters such as Swept Away and Hidden Assets, Spanish Glitter finished third in the Azalea Breeders' Cup on Calder's July 14 Summit of Speed program. She set the pace into the stretch before being overtaken by the streaking Hattiesburg and finishing third.

Before the Azalea, which was her first stakes try as a 3-year-old, Spanish Glitter won consecutive allowance starts at Churchill Downs against some top-notch fillies. Prior to those wins, she finished a good second to subsequent Grade 2 winner Unbridled Elaine, in a race in which Sams Tune was third.

But Sams Tune at least has a home court edge in the Meafara. Owned by Leba and Mike Milkes, she trains here at Arlington with Gene Cilio, who operates a full barn here and has had a typically solid meet.

When Sams Tune lost to Spanish Glitter she was coming off the only poor race of her career, a fourth-place finish at Keeneland after encountering trouble at the start. She probably was not as good then as she is now.

"She's always had a lot of talent," Cilio said. "She's getting more mature as she goes along. If we get a good trip, we can win it."

While Sams Tune stalks, Spanish Glitter will be near the early lead, along with Emily Ring, a July 11 allowance winner here, and For Elise, whom Sams Tune cruised past in her recent Arlington win.

Boggs Eyes, trained by Tom Amoss, would benefit from a taxing pace, and her deep-closing style has recently played well on this racetrack. Boggs Eyes won the one-mile Winning Colors, an overnight stakes here, in her last race, and will be making her first sprint start in three races. Boggs Eyes lacks sprint speed but should be flying late.

Gold Huntress and Hazino complete the line-up of the Meafara.

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