09/09/2004 11:00PM

Turf may bring out Rich City Girl's best

Benoit & Associates
Speedy 2-year-old Rocky River is due for a leisurely five-furlong workout.

CHICAGO - Trainer Christine Janks came out of the gate running this summer at Arlington, but her stable still has something left for the finish. After a mid-summer lull, Janks has won 10 races in less than three weeks, giving her 23 for the meet, just six fewer than leading trainer Frank Kirby.

Janks has one-fifth of a 10-horse field that was entered to run in Sunday's featured Flawlessy Stakes, a grass race at about one mile. Golden Trevally is a solid third-level allowance horse who is in with a chance, but it is Janks's other horse, Rich City Girl, who bears watching in the Flawlessly.

Rich City Girl won a maiden race here last summer by 11 lengths, and followed it with an easy allowance victory, but that was it for her 3-year-old season. This year, Rich City Girl has made four starts, winning once, and she comes into the $42,000 Flawlessly two months after her last race.

"She's had a few little injuries and it's been hard to keep her on a pace or a rhythm," said Janks, who trains Rich City Girl for Allen Tanis. "She has a lot of talent we haven't seen yet."

Janks believes it could come out on turf. Rich City Girl is by the dirt speed sire Carson City, but there are turf stakes horses in her female family. She has made only one start on grass, finishing a close third in a third-level allowance race here in her most recent race.

"I think you'll see her run much better on turf this time," Janks said. "She was a little green on it the first time."

Rich City Girl and Chris Emigh have speed and the rail, and the filly turned in a sharp six-furlong workout for this start on Sept. 1.

"She doesn't usually work very fast," said Janks. "She kind of did that on her own."

Mymich, who starts just outside Rich City Girl, was eighth in a division of the De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga last out, but she won an allowance race here two starts back, and is a legitimate contender. In fact, a case can be made for almost every horse in the Flawlessly, and the race favorite should go off at something like odds of 4-1. Bettors will find value here - if they can find the winner.

Smooth sailing for Rocky River

The undefeated Rocky River, perhaps the fastest 2-year-old at Arlington right now, continues to train well and is on target for the Arlington-Washington Futurity on Sept. 19. Rocky River hasn't breezed since he won the Spectacular Bid Stakes by almost five lengths on Aug. 29, but trainer Don Von Hemel said Rocky River would work five furlongs either Sunday or Monday.

"He'll work as fast as you want, but it won't be too fast this time," Von Hemel said.

Von Hemel said he planned all along to limit Rocky River's workouts this month, since just three weeks separate the six-furlong Spectacular Bid and the one-mile Futurity.

"He's a fit horse, and I figured one work would be enough for him," said Von Hemel.

Von Hemel also continues to oversee Bedanken's training for his son, Donnie, who is stabled in Oklahoma and Louisiana. Bedanken, who breezed an easy half-mile Wednesday, runs next in the WinStar Galaxy at Keeneland. She will head directly from Arlington to Kentucky to finish off her preparations for that start, Von Hemel said.

Will Mystery Giver ever race again?

Mystery Giver, badly injured during the Arlington Million, is steadily recovering from his injury, though his future as a racehorse remains uncertain. Trainer Chris Block said Mystery Giver was being walked 30 minutes each day and treated with magnetic therapy as a seriously damaged tendon in his hind leg gradually heals.

Block said Mystery Giver's daily walks had only recently been limited to 10 minutes, and that the gelding appeared to be doing well.

"He's more upright on the leg as a whole," Block said. "He's doing everything you'd want to see him do."

Mystery Giver soon will leave Block's barn for Ocala, Fla., where he will spend the winter.

* Monday marks the third Ride for a Cure, an annual event that raises money for the American Cancer Society. Christine Gabriel, Arlington's in-house television host and a cancer survivor herself, has spearheaded the event, which has grown to include 150 riders this year, many of them Arlington horsemen of one kind or another. Participating riders solicit pledges for a long traipse aboard horses through Chicago's northwest suburbs, and with the help of outside sponsors, the Ride raised $51,000 for cancer research last year, Gabriel said.