07/21/2009 11:00PM

Surface key factor in Arlington sprint


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - The featured ninth race on Friday at Arlington Park is a turf race. What makes it especially difficult to decipher is the lack of turf horses.

Eleven were entered in the main body of this third-level allowance race also open to $62,500 claimers - Ripe Tomato will run only on the main track, and can contend if she does. And those 11 have combined to win an underwhelming five grass races. A mare named Goldinthepocket is the established turf star - she's managed to win a whopping two grass races from seven tries.

So, handicappers must get ready to do plenty of projecting in this about five-furlong sprint, since first-timer turfers like Secret Kin and Magnentic Miss fit this spot if they adapt to the surface switch. Secret Kin is a six-time winner, while Magnetic Miss has compiled eight victories and purse earnings of more than $400,000. Both are eligible to Friday's race only because their wins over Illinois-bred competition don't count against their allowance conditions.

Secret Kin drew better, and will break from post 1 under Eddie Perez. A Team Block homebred, Secret Kin, a daughter of Sea of Secrets, has a nice little burst of acceleration at her best, and should she handle the footing, she will have a chance to win. Magnetic Miss, an Artax mare trained by Spanky Broussard, is much more a front-running type, but there is some turf in her pedigree. She could wind up in a decent pace-pressing position in behind Goldinthepocket, who won a $35,000 turf-sprint claimer earlier this meeting.

In from Kentucky for trainer Mike Orm is Simply Seattle, who overcame some trouble to win a second-level turf-sprint allowance last month at Churchill Downs, her first victory in six grass races. Simply Seattle also has three second-place finishes on turf, and probably ranks as the horse to beat Friday.

Ride Em Cowgirl won twice at Arlington last summer, looking just as sharp in the off-the-turf Nicole's Dream Stakes as she had winning a third-level turf-sprint allowance race here earlier in the meet. But the developments since the Nicole's Dream all have been negative for Ride Em Cowgirl, who has finished fifth, 13th, sixth, third, and seventh in her subsequent races. Class relief on Friday could, however, provide some assistance.