05/29/2006 11:00PM

Stung by DQ, Janks looks ahead


CHICAGO - Normally, one out of two ain't bad, but it was hard to put that spin on Christine Janks's weekend at Arlington. Janks saddled two horses that won Arlington stakes races, but while Chic Dancer stays in the record books as the official winner of the Reluctant Guest, an overnight turf stakes Sunday, Fifteen Rounds was disqualified to second after a gutty score in the $100,000 Hanshin on Saturday.

On the bright side, both came out of their races well, Janks said Tuesday morning, though no specific plans have been made for either horse.

"I haven't started looking for anything," Janks said.

Fifteen Rounds has as a major summer goal the Aug. 26 Arlington Breeders' Cup Sprint, a race he won last year. Janks said she would like Fifteen Rounds to start twice before then, and would consider shipping. Whatever else 6-year-old Fifteen Rounds does this year, he has shown that with the right company - and the Hanshin was a Grade 3 - he is not limited to pure sprints, as once was the case. And Fifteen Rounds wasn't even at his physical peak in the one-mile Hanshin, according to Janks.

"I'd still like to see him carrying a little more weight, but I've got no complaints with the way he ran," Janks said.

Other than at the top of the Arlington stretch, of course. It was there that jockey Chris Emigh allowed Fifteen Rounds, who had taken back and come around pacesetting With Distinction after breaking from post 1, to drift down from about the three path to the rail while running on the lead. Gouldings Green just then was inching his way up the fence and had to check. Janks called the disqualification "borderline."

"The people that like us say, 'Oh, they shouldn't have taken you down,' and those that don't say, 'Oh, it was obvious,' " said Janks.

Fifteen Rounds tends to lug in and wears a burr on the inside of his bit to correct the habit. "Chris just came over a little bit too quick," Janks said. "He was trying hard to win."

Chic Dancer won Sunday's Reluctant Guest by a half-length over Beau Happy, who ran well prepping for an Illinois-bred turf stakes June 24. Chic Dancer has won 4 of her last 7 starts, and has evolved into a solid middle-distance turf horse despite a challenging personality.

"She's really not very sane," Janks said. "She's just one of those fillies."

Nicole's Dream snaps losing streak

Rumors of Nicole's Dream's demise, it turns out, have been greatly exaggerated. A failed trip to Hong Kong last winter, and a disappointing eighth-place finish to start her 2006 season had skeptics wondering if, at age 6 and closing in on 50 career starts, Nicole's Dream was toast. Instead, she toasted the competition Monday in a $40,000 turf-sprint stakes - her specialty - at broiling Canterbury Park. Racing in 94-degree heat and with a hot wind whipping into her face, Nicole's Dream beat males and won by nearly four lengths, approaching Canterbury's course record for five furlongs on grass.

"She's back on her game," trainer Larry Rivelli said. "She almost broke the track record, and [jockey E.T. Baird] never let her run."

Rivelli wasn't especially surprised by Nicole's Dream performance. First, she tends to run poorly in her first race of every season, and Rivelli said the trip to the Far East takes its toll.

"The Hong Kong trip, they say it's six months before they get back in the swing of things, and this is six months," he said.

Nicole's Dream, back home at Arlington as of Tuesday, broke a four-race losing streak Monday. That's not much of a streak for most horses, but Nicole's Dream, a winner in 21 of her 45 starts, is not most horses, and hadn't lost more than two in a row since 2003.

"Walking back to the barn, you could tell she knew she'd won," Rivelli said.

There are overnight stakes races for Nicole's Dream coming up at Arlington, but her main summer goal, Rivelli said, is the $250,000 Distaff Turf Sprint Championship on Aug. 5 at Calder.

Back from bruise, Fort Prado works

Turf star Fort Prado breezed a half-mile in 49.80 seconds on Saturday at Arlington, his first published workout since a foot bruise knocked him out of the Turf Classic on Derby Day at Churchill.

"He went fine, went about his business," trainer Chris Block said. "We'll continue to build each weekend as we go along."

* The jockey James Graham won with all five of his mounts on Saturday's Arlington card, and after a quiet Sunday, came back with two more winners Monday. Graham's big weekend rushed him forward in the jockey standings, but no one is close to Chris Emigh, who won three races on both Sunday and Monday, pushing his win total to 29, 14 more than second-place Francisco Torres.

* The Thursday feature is a third-level allowance with a $50,000 claiming option carded for six furlongs, and it drew a field of nine.