06/23/2009 11:00PM

Setup suits Home's the Best


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Things worked out about perfectly for trainer Brian Williamson last Saturday in the Springfield Stakes. Williamson sent out two horses; Agnostic set the pace, and though he was run down late, the horse that beat him was stablemate Ocean Ace.

With 20 place and show finishes compared to seven winners at Arlington in 2009, Williamson's luck hasn't run that way all the time, and he hopes it holds through Friday's co-featured ninth race. There, Williamson sends out Home's the Best, who probably will be a solid favorite despite the fact that she more naturally suits two-turn races than the one-turn mile configuration she gets Friday.

"It looks like there's a lot of speed in there," Williamson said. "I'm hoping that will help her."

Home's the Best was one of six horses entered in a race with a distance-related allowance condition and also open to $80,000 claimers, though none of the sextet runs for the tag. Home's the Best, 5, comes in sporting career-best form, with an April win in an Illinois-bred stakes and a fourth-place finish last month in the Arlington Matron. But both races came around two turns, and though Home's the Best won a one-turn mile here last season, she did so with an ideal setup.

That might happen again. Dreaming of Liz works best on the front end and could wind up in an early battle with front-running Mindy Queen. But a couple of horses figure to get first run on Home's the Best, who will be looking to wear down the pressers in deep stretch.

The race is heavy on Von Hemels: Trainer Don entered both Dazzle Darlin and Pure Baby, while his son, Donnie, has Comely Grace, who might have the best shot at upsetting Home's the Best. Comely Grace has not raced on Polytrack, nor has she tried a one-turn mile, but she has worked four times at Arlington and has compiled a record of 2 wins and 3 seconds from her 5 two-turn mile starts.

* Public Speaker should win co-featured race 8, if the form he showed earlier this month holds. On June 6, Public Speaker finished second by a neck to graded-stakes horse Silverfoot, though he was disqualified to fourth for deep-stretch interference. Claimed for $50,000 in April, Public Speaker has won 4 of 8 starts and looks good regardless of whether this race remains at a mile on turf or gets moved to 1 1/16 miles on the Polytrack because of wet conditions.