08/13/2008 11:00PM

Two coming out of Sea O'Erin may be best


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Three of the seven horses in The Tin Man Stakes on Saturday at Arlington are coming out of the John Bullitt Stakes at Canterbury Park, but it might be the two exiting the Sea O'Erin Handicap here at Arlington that bear watching the most.

Demarcation ran third in the Sea O'Erin, and might be favored in The Tin Man off a close third-place finish behind Karelian and Yates Black Cat, and in front of favored Lewis Michael here on July 26. Pickapocket finished a close sixth in the Sea O'Erin, but at one mile, that race might have been shorter than his best, and Pickapocket could improve going 1 1/16 miles on turf Saturday.

Demarcation, 4, has made most of his 15 starts in main-track sprints, but might turn out to be a better middle-distance turf horse. He won a second-level allowance race going a mile on this grass course last summer before finishing a close third in an overnight stakes, and was third behind graded-stakes-class Thorn Song in a Churchill Downs allowance race before his near miss in the Sea O'Erin.

"That last race of his was really good," said trainer Paul McGee. "He was boxed in pretty much the whole way around there."

McGee said he's not concerned about Demarcation racing an extra half-furlong Saturday, pointing out that Demarcation finished seventh in a turf sprint last May 2, a strong suggestion that his distance preference on grass might be different than on the main track.

"We've only run him a few times on turf, and I do think farther is better," McGee said.

Pickapocket, from the Bill Mott barn, held his own with many of the same horses Demarcation faced in Kentucky, and was a close second to Yates Black Cat at Churchill in his race before the Sea O'Erin.

The John Bullitt crowd does not look bad either. Home first in that race was Tiganello, who had been claimed for $62,500 out of comeback race here June 14 for the Todd Pletcher barn. Tiganello was a flat seventh that day, but was home by a nose in the John Bullitt, racing for trainer Hector Magana.

Cape San Blas, who has raced only 10 times and has room to improve, finished third at Canterbury, and was a half-length in front of Yankee Injunuity, a two-time turf winner this meet. General Charley cruised to an off-the-turf $50,000 claiming win in his last start, and completing the field is the Pletcher-trained Throng, who will race only if The Tin Man is transferred to the main track.