08/20/2002 12:00AM

Temis could be lucky longshot

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Just as his stable star, Temis, has found a niche in racing, so too has William "Steve" Greene found a niche in the racing industry.

Greene, 56, is the owner of Horsemen's Track and Equipment, Inc., a Louisville, Ky., firm that sells racetrack accessories, including safety rails, water trucks, harrows, floats, and the Equicizer, a race-riding simulator that many jockeys use to refine their skills. American tracks such as Churchill Downs, Gulfstream, Oaklawn, Lone Star, and Colonial use the company's products and services, but Greene said "about half" of the company's sales come from overseas customers.

In fact, Greene often travels to South America, and it was there years ago that he befriended Beltran Monte, the racing secretary at the Hipodromo Chile. Greene, a horse owner for 30 years, began buying horses on Monte's advice, and now Greene's small stable is made up mostly of Chilean-breds. One of his top imports in recent years was Durmiente, who has earned over $400,000 in a yeoman's career in New York, and another is Temis, whose specialty is winning grass races at big mutuels.

On Thursday at Arlington Park, Temis will be part of a field of eight fillies and mares in the feature race, a $41,000 optional-claiming allowance. As usual, Temis, who is trained by Jesse "Sonny" Wigginton but will run Thursday in the name of locally based trainer Lon Wiggins, will be a long price.

Temis, a 6-year-old mare, has won just twice in her last nine starts, but those victories returned win mutuels of $55.40 and $28.40.

"She's a one-run horse, and everything has to set up perfect for her," said Greene. "Come-from-behinders have to have all the luck, so who knows? She's a pretty honest type horse, but sometimes it's just that better horses beat her."

True to form, Temis is likely to be overlooked in the eighth race Thursday. Grey Ballet, narrowly beaten as the 6-5 favorite in a similar spot three weeks ago, once again figures to be favored in the about 1 1/16-mile turf race.

Other contenders include Naturally Wild, a capable Kentucky invader trained by David Carroll, and Sams Tune, who posted a $65.40 upset two starts back for veteran trainer Christine Janks.

One race earlier, Horrible Evening and Baker Road figure to attract plenty of action when they clash with five other older horses in a $39,000 allowance at 1 1/8 miles.

First post is 1:05 p.m. Central.