07/25/2003 12:00AM

Tougher than usual statebred race


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Statebred-restricted handicaps offering a $45,000 purse don't get much tougher than Arlington's featured eighth race Sunday.

Out of My Way, a sharp winner of three straight races, squares off against Colorful Tour, champion Illinois-bred 2-year-old and 3-year-old in his last two complete seasons of racing. Throw in the multiple stakes winner San Pedro and improving horses like Big Daddy Longlegs, and this eight-horse field begins to look pretty salty.

Out of My Way, quite likely the controlling speed of the one-mile race, gets a long look based on his recent form. A solid horse at Arlington two seasons ago, Out of My Way lost all seven of his starts last year, but already has had an excellent 2003, with three wins in four starts. The last of those was a 3 1/2-length victory June 21 in the $84,000 White Oak Handicap, perhaps the best race of Out of My Way's career.

But Out of My Way's ability to push his career-best sprint form out to a mile remains uncertain. He has, however, won at the trip - albeit against lesser company - and trainer Gene Cilio doesn't see the distance as a hindrance.

"He should be fine at a mile," Cilio said. "He's on top of his game right now. If somebody else wants the lead, we'll let them go. If not, he can be on the lead."

Noel Hickey, Colorful Tour's trainer, won't mind seeing Out of My Way winging on the lead: He thinks Colorful Tour can run him down in the stretch.

A pint-sized chestnut colt with streaks of gray in his coat, Colorful Tour has been a source of surprise for Hickey since he started racing two years ago.

"He's a stiff-going horse - that's just him," Hickey said. "He didn't ever show much in the morning, and to be honest, I didn't know how good he was till he started running."

Colorful Tour has compiled an outstanding record of 10 wins in 21 starts, and though he has lost his last four races, legitimate excuses are attached to at least three of them.

San Pedro was third in the Grade 3 Hanshin in his last start, while Big Daddy Longlegs comes off a game open allowance win and Happiness makes his first start for leading trainer Wayne Catalano.

Douglas remains white hot

There is no "bounce" in Rene Douglas. Less than 24 hours after winning seven of nine races here on Thursday, Douglas was at it again Friday afternoon. He had no mount in the day's first race, but quickly reeled off wins in the second and third races, giving him 10 wins in the last 12 Arlington races he has ridden.

Douglas could do no wrong Thursday. He won the first five races in the day, and had a chance to equal a North American record with eight wins, but finished third in the nightcap.

"I never felt any nerves," Douglas said. "Even in the last race I wasn't worrying about it. I was looking for that eighth, but I knew it was going to be tough. After I won the fifth straight was when I really started paying attention. I knew I still had four to ride, and things can really get good then."

In Secure set to resume training

In Secure, who ran into the rail when she finished fifth July 4 in the Grade 1 Prioress, is set to resume training next week, according to Lara Van Deren, assistant to trainer Louie Roussel, who owns In Secure with Ronnie Lamarque.

In Secure is fortunate to be headed back to the races so soon. Racing from off the pace for the first time in her career, In Secure was making a bold inside move in the Prioress when the hole she was shooting for closed up. She was taken up sharply and ran into the rail, and came back after the race favoring one of her legs.

"We X-rayed her all over the place, and she looked fine," Van Deren said. "She needed time off to get right in the head again. She's just now starting to come around. She's been very quiet, not herself, and not wanting to do much of anything. The last couple days she's started squealing and kicking."

There are no specific plans for In Secure right now. She will begin light exercise sometime next week.