10/29/2001 12:00AM

Tell It will try to get it straight


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - There are no such awards, but if one existed for unluckiest disqualification at the Keeneland meet that ended Saturday, there is little doubt who would have been the recipient.

On Oct. 12, Tell It dueled the length of the stretch in a classified turf allowance with heavily favored Good Game. As the wire approached, Tell It, ridden by Calvin Borel, began edging away to what seemed to be a well-earned, clear-cut victory. But with only about 20 yards to go, Tell It suddenly came in sharply on Good Game, forcing jockey Pat Day to steady his mount.

Tell It finished first by a neck, but the inevitable soon occurred. A no-brainer disqualification left the connections of Tell It frustrated, as owner Seth Hancock and trainer Frank Brothers left the unsaddling area with little to say. Borel was particularly upset with himself for allowing what would have been a noteworthy upset to slip away.

On Wednesday, Borel and Tell It will get a chance for redemption in the feature race at Churchill Downs, a $59,800 allowance at a mile on turf. Contested under "four other than" allowance conditions, the race would appear to be Tell It's to win again, even though she drew the outside post in a field of 10.

Tell It, a 4-year-old Storm Cat filly, is out of the Grade 1-winning mare Preach, making her a younger half-sister to the former Claiborne star, Pulpit. In 17 lifetime starts, Tell It has won four times and just over $160,000, and there is probably little more that Hancock would like than to get the royally bred filly some black type sometime soon.

The Wednesday feature, with that unfortunate yet encouraging last start at Keeneland serving as a backdrop, could take her closer to that goal.

Tell It's competition is representative of what fall racing at Churchill has become, meaning a handful of others appear capable of stepping up for a mild upset if Tell It does not fire her best shot.

Among those challengers is K.C.'s Gift, who won a restricted turf allowance at Keeneland in her last start for trainer Dale Romans. Although Romans admitted to being surprised after K.C.'s Gift pulled off that 16-1 upset on Oct. 18, he did concede that he always thought she had potential on grass.

Another potential threat is Wayward City, who has never raced on grass but nevertheless attracted Day to ride.

The feature is the eighth of nine races on a card that begins at 12:40 p.m. Eastern.

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