08/04/2008 11:00PM

Sprint could paint Lassie picture


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Which one? Which one of the Todd Pletchers? Which one of the Mike Stidhams? And gosh darn it, which one of the Larry Rivellis?

Those three trainers have all six horses - two each - in Thursday's third race, a 2-year-old filly entry-level allowance that should draw a direct line to the Arlington-Washington Lassie, at least for the locally based crop of 2-year-old fillies.

At six furlongs the race will be the longest for all entered save Sweet Relish, one of the two Stidham-trained horses and a maiden winner here July 12. Sweet Relish, fifth as a troubled favorite in her June 21 debut, came through horses on the inside and won by 1 1/2 lengths last out.

"She didn't do anything wrong, and she's really doing good since the race," Stidham said.

Yet, who's to say that the other Stidham horse, Truly Lucky, won't be a factor? She was pinballed at the start of an early-meet two-furlong dash, but won a futurity trial at Lone Star, and was a troubled third of nine there in a rich sales futurity June 7.

"They're both talented fillies trying to find their way, see where they fit, see if they belong in the Lassie," Stidham said.

While Pletcher said he plans to train his top Arlington-based colt, Advice, straight into the Arlington-Washington Futurity, Pletcher hopes both Quite the Lady and Pride can earn their way to the Lassie by running well Thursday. Pride looks the flashier of the two, having scored by a 1 1/2 lengths as a hot favorite in a 4 1/2-furlong April maiden race. A fourth-place finish in the June 29 Astoria at Belmont came with a stumbling start, and, back on Polytrack, Pride could prove formidable.

"She seemed to be a filly that appreciated the synthetic at Keeneland," Pletcher said.

Pride no doubt is quick, but Quite the Lady gave hints of substance when she won a 4 1/2-furlong June 7 maiden race here by three lengths. The race was fast enough, Pride finished well, and as a daughter of the 1 1/4-mile horse Pleasantly Perfect, Quite the Lady should improve at longer distances.

"We liked her debut a lot, and with her pedigree, we'd think she'd stretch out," said Pletcher. "Hopefully, she can point to the Lassie, as well."

Ravin Maniac, the rail-drawn, Rivelli-trained filly, won her maiden here in late May, and was a close fourth of 12 going five furlongs on dirt in the Prairie Gold Lassie on July 4, while Wink at Richie, the outside-drawn Rivelli, won a $40,000 maiden claimer here the same day.