07/30/2001 11:00PM

Stall and Fitzgerald build win machine


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - There is no hotter stable at Arlington than trainer Al Stall's. With assistant Pam Fitzgerald overseeing the Chicago string, Stall had won eight of 19 starts through last weekend, for a fourth-place tie in the trainer standings with Tom Tomillo, who had saddled 85 horses at the meet.

Two of Stall's wins came in Grade 3 stakes: Bright Valour's in the Hanshin Handicap, and the 3-year-old Discreet Hero's in Saturday's Round Table Stakes.

It is a far cry from last year, when Stall didn't run as many horses here and, consequently, didn't win as much. In fact, his stall allocation this year was trimmed by six, in part because of his 2000 Arlington record.

"We just didn't have as much stock up here last year," Fitzgerald said. "We've been a little lucky, too. Three [of our horses] won when races came off turf, and they were horses that could make the transition."

"We have different kinds of horses there this year," said Stall, who is managing his string at Saratoga now. "Last year I had a bunch of 2-year-old maidens."

There are only a handful of Stall 2-year-olds here this summer, and more allowance horses with conditions to run through. And more winners to come soon. The Stall barn will start four horses here this week, including the talented Lac Grand, who had a useful comeback race last month at Churchill Downs.

Discreet Hero, who has now won three consecutive races for owner B. Wayne Hughes, is headed for the Prelude Stakes at Louisiana Downs, with an eye toward the Grade 1 Super Derby there later in the summer. Discreet Hero had never raced around two turns, but won the 1 1/8-mile Round Table here Saturday fairly easily. "We're in good shape with him," Stall said.

Stall has a string of horses at Louisiana Downs, but said Discreet Hero would continue to train at Arlington and ship to Louisiana shortly before the Prelude.

There are no suitable races here for Brite Valour, who has won the one-mile Hanshin in two consecutive years. Stall mentioned the Salvatore Mile at Monmouth as a possibility for Brite Valour, but said plans for the horse were still undetermined.

Soul Onarazorsedge to get better view

The one-eyed horse Soul Onarazorsedge returns to Arlington Thursday, as the possible favorite in the afternoon's featured allowance race.

Race 8 on a nine-race program, the third-level sprint allowance drew a field of eight fillies and mares.

But it could boil down to a stretch battle between Soul Onarazorsedge and Carson's Lady Love, who missed clearing this allowance condition by only a neck here on July 14. The two fillies, both 3, met at Hawthorne this spring in an overnight stakes, and Soul Onarazorsedge won by more than three lengths while Carson's Lady Love finished fourth.

Soul Onarazorsedge, owned by Robert Firth's My Jo Lee Stable and trained by Gene Brajczewski, finished third in a good Ellis Park turf sprint three weeks ago, but in her race before that was badly beaten in the $50,000 Ribbon Stakes here. Her missing eye, the result of a paddock accident when she was a foal, troubled her that day. Soul Onarazorsedge broke from post 2 and was stuck on the inside. As a rule, one-eyed horses run best when they can stay in the clear and see what's going on.

Thursday, the filly should be able to do that, and her rider, Zoe Cadman, aboard for the Hawthorne victory, is familiar with her quirks.

Carson's Lady Love may be better now than she was when beaten by Soul Onarazorsedge. She remains a lightly raced, very quick filly who has a chance to lead all the way.

* Race 5 offers the first 2-year-old route race of the season in Chicago, a one-mile maiden race for colts. Dubai Squire may be favored to give Godolphin its first win at Arlington this summer. Godolphin, which kept its most advanced 2-year-olds in California, has been unlucky here, continually drawing bad posts for their starters. Dubai Squire, in post 4, will have no such excuse, and the Summer Squall colt's sprint debut and stretchout make him a strong win threat in this spot.