08/14/2008 11:00PM

Sun for Fun vs. Lakeaway in battle of top trainers


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Trainers Chris Block and Christine Janks have won more Illinois-bred races of consequence than anyone else in recent years, and it is not surprising that both will be prominently represented in a pair of second-level Illinois-bred allowance races featured on Sunday's nine-race card at Arlington.

The Janks-Block matchup is especially prominent in race 7, a 1 1/16-mile turf race that should come down to the Janks-trained Sun for Fun, and Lakeaway, who is trained by Block.

Sun for Fun has faced open company in 4 of her 7 starts, comes off a victory, and ran second to Block's best 3-year-old Illinois-bred filly, Apple Martini, in the Purple Violet Stakes. So she figures to be favored over Lakeaway, who has accomplished less and hasn't raced since June 29.

Which is not to say that Sun for Fun will win. Sun for Fun finished second, Lakeaway eighth in a common turf race here May 10, but there were only two lengths separating the pair on a turf course rated "soft," and Lakeaway earned a short chart comment of "unruly, broke slowly," for her performance.

Sixth in a Polytrack sprint next out, Lakeaway finished fast winning an entry-level Illinois-bred allowance over the main rack June 29, and she has trained steadily since then. The sense is Lakeaway might have a sharper burst than Sun for Fun, who tends to show more tactical speed and finish steadily rather than flashily.

If form holds in the grass race, the top two look markedly better than such second-tier contenders as Royal Thumb Tack, Classic Choice, and Fox Force Five.

Neither Block nor Janks figures to be favored in race 2, the other statebred-restricted second-level allowance, this one carded for six furlongs on Polytrack. Blue Knight, from the Janks barn, comes off two straight wins, but so does Wildeyedsouthernboy, who enters the race unbeaten for trainer Hugh Robertson. Wildeyedsouthernboy finished like a wild horse in his June 19 debut, when he rallied to win. Back a month later, Wildeyedsouthernboy unveiled a different running style, pressing a fast pace before winning by three-quarters of a length over the Janks-trained Tollway.

But Block's horse, That I Am, looks interesting. Best in one-turn Polytrack miles last year, and much more a route horse than sprinter in his 12-start career, That I Am turned back to 6 1/2 furlongs July 26 in his second start of the season, and finished a fast-closing second. If he gets any sort of early pace at which to run, That I Am could rally to win this time.