08/12/2004 11:00PM

Turnback could help Auburn Forever's kick


CHICAGO - Call it feature-by-committee Sunday at Arlington Park.

With seemingly every good horse on the grounds rounded up to run on the Arlington Million program Saturday, the next day's racing cannot help but drop off sharply.

Instead of three Grade 1's on the grass, day-after fans are offered one helping of statebred allowance, one of open $50,000 claimers. These are good, bettable races - they just don't stir the heart.

The seventh is for Illinois-bred entry-level allowance sprinters, and it has a field of eight. None stand out. The trainer Chris Block, who quietly finds himself in the race for leading trainer here, sends out Auburn Forever. Block, who had 21 wins through Thursday, trails Frank Kirby by two victories, and Kirby has the horse right next door, Call Me Dorie.

The pair met July 15, with Auburn Forever finishing ahead of Call Me Dorie, but has been burning bettors' money this summer. In five starts, she has never been greater than 7-2, and lost her last as the 9-5 favorite. Block turns the filly back to a sprint Sunday, a move that could improve Auburn Forever's finishing kick.

, who turns back from a turf route and a one-turn dirt mile.

The eighth, for $50,000 claimers over one mile on dirt, has a field of nine, including several one-time stakes horses. , surely one of the best Colorado-breds ever, was fifth in the 2003 Louisiana Derby, but went winless the rest of his 3-year-old season. He won a pair of allowance races this past spring at Oaklawn, but ended his spring campaign with a pair of eighth-place finishes. So it was that Defrere's Vixen, trained by Steve Asmussen, showed up in a $50,000 claimer here July 25. He won it by a neck, and is right back in the same spot.

Trion Georgia drops in class and is a contender, as is Bodgiteer, who makes his first start for Block.

Royal Spy on the move

The multiple graded stakes winner Royal Spy has changed barns, from Tom Amoss to Steve Asmussen. And Wednesday, Royal Spy moved from Arlington to Saratoga, where he is scheduled to start Aug. 28 in the Fourstardave Handicap. Royal Spy finished unplaced in his last start, the Firecracker Breeders' Cup at Churchill.

Asmussen, meanwhile, said he had no specific excuse for Warleigh, who ran poorly here last Saturday in the Sea O'Erin Handicap.

"We'll just go on to the next one," Asmussen said.