06/18/2001 11:00PM

Split stable has no second-string group

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Horseplayers trying to speculate why some trainers split up their stables in certain ways can stop trying to figure out Rusty Arnold.

Jack Bohannan, who oversees the Kentucky operations for the stable while Arnold stays primarily in New York, said there is no set formula for why a particular horse is based in either spot.

"There are a lot of factors that go into how Rusty and our clients decide where our horses will be," said Bohannan.

One thing has become clear: The horses that Arnold runs in Kentucky are not second-stringers, as his 6-6-0 record from 17 starts at the Churchill spring meet would attest.

Thursday, Bohannan will saddle Reflect the Music for Arnold in the ninth-race feature, a $57,200 allowance at 1 1/16 miles on turf. A 5-year-old A.P. Indy mare, Reflect the Music accurately reflects the quality of Arnold's local string, as she has earned over $200,000 from 18 starts.

Other major contenders in the feature include Lady Angharad and Humble Clerk. A field of nine fillies and mares has been entered.

Bohannan is the brother of Tom Bohannan, who trained such stars as Pine Bluff and Prairie Bayou in the early 1990's. Tom Bohannan has been working outside the racing industry for the last several years.

Locust Grove should be competitive

Colstar and Megans Bluff head what is shaping up as a terrific field of fillies and mares in the lone stakes here this weekend, Saturday's $150,000 Locust Grove Handicap.

Colstar, based in Maryland with Paul Fout, won the Grade 3 Locust Grove last year. Megans Bluff won the Mint Julep Handicap earlier this meet.

Others expected for the 1 1/8-mile turf race are Gino's Spirits, Histoire Sainte, Joi's Flame, Silent Emotion, Sitka, and Solvig.

* Trainer Steve Penrod said Casual Feat, winner of the Regret Stakes last weekend at 28-1, could run next at Ellis Park. The Regret marked the first Churchill stakes win for Penrod in nine years.

* Trainer Elliott Walden said Brahms, third in the Stephen Foster, and Meetyouathebrig, second in the Northern Dancer, would get some time off before gearing up for a fall campaign.

* The July 6 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows could be next for Compendium, upset winner of the Northern Dancer, said assistant trainer Scott Blasi.

* The annual Brew and Barbecue Fest will be held this weekend in the infield. The live entertainment on Saturday will be Eddie Money, while Sunday will feature several country music artists, including jockey Shane Sellers.