06/05/2008 12:00AM

Silverfoot and Telling cross paths


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - In the summer of 2006, when Silverfoot was at the top of his game, doing battle with such turf stars as English Channel and Better Talk Now, a colt named Telling was still a year away from making his career debut. But the paths of 8-year-old Silverfoot and 4-year-old Telling cross Saturday at Arlington Park in the $50,000 Rossi Gold Stakes, a 1 3/16-mile turf prep for the July 4 Stars and Stripes Handicap.

Silverfoot, unraced from November 2006 until this past January, is five races into a comeback of moderate success. Silverfoot has lost all of his starts since returning to the races, but has competed in three Grade 3's, one Grade 2, and one high-end Keeneland allowance race. Without a doubt, Silverfoot does not have the giddy-up of his peak years, but he was beaten less than four lengths in his two most recent starts in Kentucky, and was victimized by a slow pace in both of those races.

"He's been real unlucky, and hasn't had things go his way with how the pace has been," trainer Dallas Stewart said of his near-white stretch-runner.

With four consecutive victories, Telling has needed no recent excuse. Culled from the Darley stable after one start here last summer, Telling, an A.P. Indy colt, has gotten on a roll for trainer Steve Hobby. After winning three straight dirt races at Oaklawn Park this winter, Telling made his grass debut here May 16 and beat a decent horse named It's a Bird by more than two lengths while racing over a soft, demanding grass course.

That recent grass victory came at 1 1/16 miles, but Hobby has remarked on Telling's apparent long-windedness. Indeed, Telling was striding out nicely at the finish of his last race, and the longer distance Saturday may lead to further improvement. Telling has one moderate five-furlong workout since his earlier Arlington win, but the light work tab should be no cause for concern.

"He's doing super," Hobby said.

The 10-horse field does not have an abundance of early speed, and the pace may turn dawdling again Saturday. Telling definitely has the ability to stay close, and Silverfoot might be asked to keep the leaders in his sites more so than in recent races.

"We'll maybe lay up a little closer on the backstretch if there's no pace again," Stewart said.

Major Rhythm and Throng, both decent horses, should be on or near the lead, and the field also includes Silver Whistle, who has slid from his peak form of 2005-2006, but remains a potential danger.