10/10/2001 11:00PM

Turf sprint specialist enticing


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - The mare who probably would be favored will almost certainly scratch. The filly who probably will be favored is wholly unproven at the distance. And much of the field has entered at least half-hoping the race comes off turf.

All of which makes Diablos First Lady a fairly interesting proposition in Arlington's Saturday feature, the $50,000-added Laser Show Stakes.

To be run at the abbreviated distance of about five furlongs on turf, the Lazer Show drew a full field of 12, but Ioya Two, who will be the favorite if she runs, is cross-entered in the Friday feature here and will start in that race provided it stays on turf. Despite mid-week rain here, Thursday's races remained on grass as clear, cooler air entered the region.

Like Ioya Two, Golden Antigua is a proven route mare entered in a sprint simply for lack of a better place to run. But with good recent form and top connections, owner Frank Calabrese and trainer Wayne Catalano, Golden Antigua could well be the favorite in a field littered with dirt horses unproven on turf. As many of six fillies entered probably would benefit from a switch to dirt.

Diablos First Lady, on the other hand, specializes in turf sprints, as she demonstrated here Sept. 27, finishing second, beaten only a half-length, at this distance to the classy Ioya Two. It was perhaps her best race all year, not surprising given that all her previous grass starts this season came at route distances.

"I think from five to seven furlongs, she's a pretty good horse," said trainer Moises Yanez. "That's her best distance. But there's not much place to run her. I wanted to find a couple races for her later in the summer," said Yanez, who added Diablos First Lady will probably retired after completing her 2001 campaign.

Diablos First Lady has tactical speed and handles any sort of course, from firm to yielding.

In her last start jockey Eddie Razo let her settle off a moderate pace before letting her out on the far turn. A similar trip would be successful Saturday, provided most of the speed horses remain in the Lazer Show if the Lazer Show remains on turf.

Golden Antigua, who almost won the Top Corsage Stakes here though the race came of turf, which she prefers, and was contested on the main track. She had a good summer and was unlucky to lose the Dade Turf Classic at Ellis Park two starts ago. She has shown decent speed in route races and may be capable of staying within striking distance in this sprint.

for entries.

Subscribers, to purchase Past Performances.

Non-subscribers, to purchase Past Performances.