08/28/2003 11:00PM

Someone among proven losers has to win


CHICAGO - The top contenders in Arlington's feature race on Sunday have one serious flaw: They can't seem to win at the race conditions.

The feature is a second-level allowance at one mile, and a glance at the form reveals four primary contenders-Guapazo, Voodoo Kiss, Gold Tango, and Behind Enemy Lines. All have put together solid recent races against similar competition, but between them, they have compiled an 0-for-31 record at the second-allowance level. In other words, the horses most likely to win have only proven themselves capable of losing - over and over again.

It is enough to send a handicapper hunting for fresh blood, and, indeed, a sharp winner of a first-level allowance might find this race a perfect spot to step up. But there may be no such animal. Drill Hall and Double Slam both exit wins at the first-allowance level, but neither was especially impressive. Drill Hall beat only four horses in an off-the-turf race, while Double Slam found the best part of an outside-biased, sloppy racing surface on the way to a one-length score.

There is one more name for the hat, McKee's Gallery, who was fifth on turf last out but had finished first or second in three prior main-track races. The flip side is that the only time McKee's Gallery has won, the track has been sloppy.

And so it is back to the original quartet. Among them, Gold Tango may be the most likely to break through. Unfortunately, the betting public is likely to view things similarly, and Gold Tango, just 2 for 22 in his career, will be favored. Still, his last race, at 6 1/2 furlongs, was too short, and in his race two starts ago, Gold Tango ran into Proud Citizen, second in last year's Kentucky Derby. This is an easier spot, and the added distance Sunday may make the difference.

Still ailing In Secure may be retired

The racing career of In Secure may be over. In Secure's owner and trainer, Louie Roussel, said Friday that In Secure could become a broodmare this winter if her physical condition doesn't improve soon.

In Secure hasn't raced since she was an extremely troubled fifth in the Grade 1 Prioress on July 4 at Belmont. In Secure was making a big move up the rail coming into the stretch when she she ran out of room and caromed off the fence. She came out of the race sore, and has not yet recovered from the injuries she suffered.

"She's not right, and her racing career has been compromised," Roussel said. "She still hasn't recovered from being slammed into the rail."

Roussel still holds out hope that In Secure will come around, but he will not hesitate to retire her if she can't return at top form.

Six horses running for second

A field of seven was entered Friday in Monday's Grade 3 Arlington Matron Handicap, and Take Charge Lady seems to tower over her opponents. In fact, Arlington racing officials were pleasantly surprised to find six other horses in the entries.

Not that any of them have expectations of beating Take Charge Lady, who has run against the best mares in the country this season.

"No, I don't see how we could beat her," said Tony Mitchell, the trainer of Summer Mis, the leading Illinois-bred filly of her generation.

What Mitchell is hoping for is a good, clean trip and a top-three finish, which would add value to Summer Mis herself and help owner Richard Otto's breeding program.

"If I can get her graded placed, I've done 75 percent of my job," Mitchell said.