08/26/2008 11:00PM

Statebreds help fill out allowance feature

Email

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - The featured ninth race on Friday at Arlington Park is basically an open third-level allowance race at seven furlongs on Polytrack, but where would the feature be without Illinois-breds? Scrapped and done for, that's where.

It was only recently that open Arlington allowance races began including a provision that doesn't count statebred-restricted wins (usually allowance, sometimes even stakes) against a horse's open allowance conditions. New York does the same thing with New York-breds, too. It's a bow to the reality these days: Not enough horses to fill races like this regularly.

Without the statebred exception written into the conditions of Friday's ninth, Ally's Little Sis (five career wins), Secret Kin (five wins), and Modjadji (six wins) all would have wound up in a different spot. But since their Illinois-bred victories don't count against their eligibility, we have ourselves a horse race.

Modjadji and Secret Kin look like they should be the two favorites. Modjadji, with almost $300,000 in career earnings, has accomplished more, but is in the midst of a somewhat disappointing season. Modjadji earned more than $100,000 in 2007, when she made 11 starts and won an Illinois-bred stakes race, but so far this year she has raced just four times, and only with modest success. Her best race of the year also was her most recent one, a second-place finish to stablemate Pretty Jenny in the $50,000 Iowa State Fair on Aug. 16 at Prairie Meadows. If Modjadji can build off that effort, she can win on Thursday, since Modjadji has scored before at both seven furlongs and on Arlington's synthetic racing surface.

The synthetic surface here may not be especially to the liking of Secret Kin, whose trainer, Chris Block, thinks she might be better on dirt. Racing on dirt, Secret Kin won the Governor's Lady at Hawthorne this past spring, and then finished second in a Churchill Downs allowance race. She went evenly when fifth behind Modjadji in the Isaac Murphy in June, but was better last out on July 19 when she ran on for second to the good Ride Em Cowgirl in an off-the-turf overnight sprint stakes.

Ally's Little Sis narrowly cleared her second allowance condition in her most recent start, while Miss Greenley will be making her second start after a layoff and would need a career-best performance to win. C B T Snakeye has been much more a grass runner than a horse for the main track, but Acadia Breeze can win. Turf and two turns did not suit her last out at Ellis Park, and two races ago, Acadia Breeze was in too tough in the Grade 3 Chicago Handicap on Polytrack here.