08/13/2009 12:00AM

Several could go for lead at Arlington


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - On paper, it almost looks like any one of five horses could make the early lead Saturday at Arlington Park in the featured seventh race, a high-level turf-sprint allowance with a $100,000 claiming option. Larry Rivelli trains one of them, and he doesn't think there will be a battle for the lead.

Rivelli thinks his horse Streamin Heat has more brilliant speed than anyone else in the Saturday feature, and with noted gate rider E.T. Baird named to ride, Rivelli strongly suspects Streamin Heat will outrun the other pace horses, and quite possibly run on to victory.

"Believe me," Rivelli said, "she will be in front."

Rivelli, as the trainer of the retired mare Nicole's Dream, knows something about fast turf sprinters. In fact, until she was claimed earlier this meet, Rivelli also trained another horse in the Saturday feature, Excessive Heat, who is a 4-year-old full sister to 3-year-old Streamin Heat. Excessive Heat has won 10 of 17 starts, and 6 of 11 on turf, but though she has raced close to the pace in the past, Rivelli thinks Streamin Heat is quicker.

"Speedwise, she's the fastest horse I've had," said Rivelli. "My assistant that gets on her said that's the fastest horse that she's ever been on, too."

Streamin Heat has won 3 of 7 starts, and is 1 for 1 on turf, and that's probably where her future lies, especially in short grass races like Saturday's five-furlong dash. Streamin Heat's lone turf try came this past winter in a Tampa second-level allowance; she made the lead through a sub-21-second opening quarter, and went on to a five-length win.

That sort of performance would suffice again this time, too, though the race looks just about as good as the $54,000 Pink Ribbon, a turf-sprint stakes contested July 11 at Arlington. There, Dee's Rose won by a head over Taletobetold, and both horses come back on Saturday. For Dee's Rose, the Pink Ribbon marked her turf-sprint debut. She may have room for improvement, and also might not need the lead to show her best. Taletobetold appears to have declined at least slightly from her best 2008 form.

Taylor Madison and Candy Cane were the one-two finishers in an earlier turf-sprint stakes this Arlington meet.