07/19/2009 11:00PM

Twice Punched shows 'pretty awesome' drills


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - If Twice Punched runs to her recent training, she is the filly to beat in the featured eighth race Wednesday at Arlington Park. And more often than not this year, horses trained by fourth-year conditioner John Good have been running to their training.

Good, 30, has won with 19 of 69 starters in 2009, a strike rate of almost 30 percent. At Arlington, where Good has 10 stalls, he is 6 for 22, and has sent out a bevy of live horses in maiden and conditioned races. Good, a native of Kildare, Ireland, was employed eight years by Bob Baffert before going out on his own in 2005. His stable, which he divides among Kentucky, New Orleans, and Chicago, has grown to 20 horses.

"This would be my best year so far," Good said. "I think it's kind of a combination of some patience and having young horses with conditions."

Good also credited sometime jockey John Byrne, who runs Good's Arlington string and oversaw the Fair Grounds operation this past winter.

December at Fair Grounds, in fact, was when Twice Punched last saw action. She won a turf-sprint maiden race there over two next-out winners and showed grit in so doing. It has been quite some time between outings for Twice Punched, but she shows sharp works at the Highpoint Training Center in Kentucky dating to early June and has posted a pair of bullet drills since shipping into Arlington.

"She's always been a good work horse, but two of her last three works were pretty awesome," Good said. "She probably could have run a week or two ago, but we were waiting for this race."

The race is an entry-level allowance carded for about five furlongs on turf, and Twice Punched drew the outside post in a 10-horse field. Filly races at this class level and distance have been coming up light lately, and Twice Punched fits as well as anyone here.

Trainer Lon Wiggins entered two horses, Lucky Approval and She's Salty Too. The latter comes off a turf-sprint maiden win, but it's Lucky Approval who might have a better shot to win Wednesday. Three races ago, she finished a closing third in an open $30,000 turf-sprint claimer probably of higher quality than this entry-level allowance. She's Salty Too led all the way over a yielding course beating nine foes here July 8, but probably will face heavier pace pressure Wednesday.