04/14/2006 11:00PM

Stakes fields up in the air


CHICAGO - Entries for this Saturday's pair of graded stakes at the National Jockey Club meet, the National Jockey Club Handicap and the Sixty Sails Handicap, were to be taken on Tuesday, and it is only after the races are drawn that we may know precisely who is in them. Fields for both were in flux as of Saturday, with the NJC racing office reporting just three firm starters in the NJC Handicap and five in the Sixty Sails.

Three Hour Nap and Summer Book are the confirmed names for the NJC 'Cap; Eyes on Eddy, Culinary, Sunset Kisses, and Tappin for Gold are the names in the Sixty Sails. Racing officials say Todd Pletcher plans to send one horse for each race, but exactly which horses they cannot say.

Pletcher, who won both of these races last year with Isola Piu Bella and Pollard's Vision, has five horses nominated to the NJC 'Cap, but he has previously mentioned Harlington as a candidate for the Pimlico Special. Colita has always been a horse for the East Coast, and Master Command just raced April 9 in the Oaklawn Handicap, which leaves the lightly raced Venetian Sunset, a horse eligible for a second-level allowance race, and West Virginia, who won the Excelsior Breeders' Cup on April 1, and who would seem the most logical candidate to come to Chicago. Trainer Christine Janks said last week that Nkosi Reigns probably would go in the NJC, and the spot presents a fairly logical leap for Air Academy, a two-time winner at the meet.

Pletcher's three nominees to the Sixty Sails are Fleet Indian, who won the Next Move at Aqueduct in her last start; Oonagh McCool, an impressive winner of the Rampart Handicap at Gulfstream; and Pool Land, sixth last out in the Shirley Jones at Gulfstream Park.

Aroarable has improved in Chicago

Aroarable came within a head of winning a fourth-level sprint allowance in her last start, so logic tells us she's the horse to beat Tuesday in the featured first race, a third-level sprint allowance for fillies and mares.

Aroarable wintered in Florida and didn't disgrace herself, but she's come to life since returning to Chicago and the barn of Roger Brueggeman. Aroarable rallied from last when she won a second-level allowance March 17, and two weeks later, racing above her natural allowance condition, she finished fast once again, just missing another win.