07/10/2006 12:00AM

Sea O'Erin next for Kid Grindstone

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Kid Grindstone ran well enough winning the Dr. Fager Stakes here Saturday to earn a starting spot in the $300,000 Washington Park Handicap on July 29, the biggest older-horse dirt handicap of the year in Chicago, but his connections are looking elsewhere. Trainer Mike Campbell said Sunday morning that Kid Grindstone was being pointed for the Aug. 5 Sea O'Erin, a one-mile turf race.

Kid Grindstone won the nine-furlong Dr. Fager, a prep for the Washington Park, by 2 1/4 lengths over the pace-setting favorite, Iosilver. It was an especially impressive performance considering that Kid Grindstone hadn't raced since winning the Fifth Season Breeders' Cup on April 12 at Oaklawn Park and that he had posted only two modest workouts since late April because he was nursing a foot bruise.

"I did almost nothing with him," said Campbell, who with owner Avers Wexler claimed Kid Grindstone for $40,000 in March 2005. Campbell said he felt he had a fairly fit horse even after Kid Grindstone missed some training, and didn't concern himself with the speed of Kid Grindstone's works.

"It's not how fast they work, it's how beneficial the work was," he said.

Still, Kid Grindstone ran hard to win and "was a little gutted" from his effort, Campbell said. Choosing the Sea O'Erin gives Kid Grindstone an extra week to recover, and he might have to work as hard to be ready for a mile on turf as he would for 1 3/16 miles on the main track. Campbell said he also planned to start No Tolerance, another sharp horse, in the Sea O'Erin.

Meanwhile, another Arlington handicapper, Three Hour Nap, is headed to the Washington Park, trainer Hugh Robertson said. Three Hour Nap finished second of 13 in the Cornhusker Handicap on July 1 at Prairie Meadows, and though he was beaten six lengths, Three Hour Nap's performance pleased Robertson.

"I thought my horse ran well to be second, and he came out of it well," said Robertson.

Proudinsky going in Virginia Derby

Proudinsky, a fast-closing second in the July 1 Arlington Classic, is scheduled to fly east on Tuesday and start in the Virginia Derby this weekend at Colonial Downs, according to Christiane Kaiserer, an assistant to trainer Mario Hofer. Proudinsky, purchased after two starts in Germany by owner Gary Tanaka, also was possible for the American Derby, Arlington's next 3-year-old turf race, but will instead go for a $1 million purse this weekend.

Kaiserer said Sunday that Proudinsky was to work on dirt Monday morning, but his name did not appear on the Arlington work tab.

Proudinsky has been stabled alone in Arlington's quarantine barn since arriving three days before the Arlington Classic and has been training regularly on dirt. Kaiserer said that Proudinsky had lost weight during his trip to Arlington, but gained it back since the Arlington Classic and was doing well physically.

Nicole's Dream's still got it

Nicole's Dream, it turns out, has not lost any of her old zip, or so it seemed as she won the Smile Stakes here July 4. Facing males, Nicole's Dream won the Smile by two lengths, turning in a visually impressive performance while running about five furlongs on a slow-playing grass course in 57.20 seconds.

Nicole's Dream ran poorly in the Hong Kong Sprint last winter and finished eighth in her first start this season, but she has rebounded with two wins and a second-place finish. Trainer Larry Rivelli said Nicole's Dream was possible for the JJ'sdream Stakes this weekend at Arlington, a turf sprint restricted to females, but definitely was being pointed for the $250,000 Distaff Turf Sprint Championship Handicap on Aug. 5 at Calder.

Look for Sub Futz Jr to improve

Only six horses were entered in Arlington's featured eighth race Wednesday, a six-furlong dirt race open to third-level allowance horses of $50,000 claimers. Half the field, including Roarofvictory, Catalissa, and Dormy Lake, look like longshots to win, but any of the other three might do.

Jimmy's Boy, the likely pacesetter, finished fourth, beaten two lengths, last out in the $85,000 White Oak, a sprint stakes for Illinois-breds. Finishing second by a length in the White Oak was Iron Rogue, who also winds up in the Wednesday feature. Both horses have risen in class from mid-level claimers, but Sub Futz Jr never has run in a claiming race, and in just his 15th career start, he might have more upside than his older rivals.

Sub Futz Jr has raced only three times this season, losing to Jimmy's Boy by a nose two starts ago. His other two starts came on turf, and while Sub Futz Jr was a decent second on grass in his most recent race, he probably is a better dirt horse.