07/04/2007 12:00AM

Two stand out in solid turf feature


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - A former claimer, or a former stakes horse? Take your pick in Friday's featured ninth race at Arlington Park, because both Tenpointfive and Wise River seem wholly capable of coming out on top.

Tenpointfive actually is more a current than former claimer, having raced for a $25,000 claiming price on June 16. Thing is, he won that race by almost seven lengths in a sterling performance, and the Beyer Speed Figure he earned for winning it - 98 - would look reasonable tagged to a Grade 3 kind of horse.

Wise River, on the other hand, hasn't been in a race since May 28, 2006, when he finished second by a nose in a second-level turf allowance race - the class and type of Friday's about-1o1/16-mile feature - at Churchill Downs. Before that start, Wise River had been second, third, or fourth in four consecutive grass stakes. Wise River, trainer Joan Scott said, developed a fungus in his eye that nearly cost him half his sight, and then, on the way back from the eye problem, came up with a chipped knee that had to be repaired.

"It's been a long road back," Scott said.

There were 10 others entered in the Friday feature, which is a pretty decent race for the second-level allowance class. Victory Sign recently shipped into trainer Becky Maker's barn after holding his own in turf and all-weather allowance races in Southern California. Golden Harpoon adds blinkers for the Todd Pletcher barn, and just was third in a similar race. Wild Sunday won a Fair Grounds allowance when last seen in late March. Daggernought and Cavu both have moderately appealing form.

Still, it looks like Tenpointfive could jump out to a clear early lead - provided he actually starts in the race.

"We haven't completely decided what to do yet," trainer Mike Reavis said of himself and owner Gregory Fraterrigo.

While Tenpointfive was in for a claiming price last out in his second start of the year, he had a highly productive summer and fall in 2006, winning three grass races during the Arlington meet, and pulling off a 21-1 upset in the High Alexander Handicap last fall on the Hawthorne dirt.

"He's had little issues, but hopefully they're behind him," Reavis said. "The way he was last year, I'd feel stronger about it. This year, it's been kind of touch and go."

As for Wise River, Scott pointed out that he won his career debut over a mile on turf, a sign that he might be ready for a top effort first start back from his layoff.

"I do think you can win - but I might be talking differently Friday," she said.

Humor at Last resurfacing

Among the many horses entered on Wednesday for Saturday's Prairie State Festival of Illinois-bred stakes racing, a name pops up that would have been familiar to Chicago horseplayers two years ago. But Humor at Last has not made a start since Nov. 12, 2005, and is far removed from the form that made him one of the top Illinois-bred 2-year-olds of 2004.

Still, Humor at Last looks like he can make an impact on the six-furlong White Oak Handicap. He has been breezing like crazy for trainer Tony Mitchell, posting bullets in three of his last four works.

"He's just come along the right way," said Mitchell, who didn't train Humor at Last for his last five starts in 2005. "I don't like to see bullet works, but he's doing it on his own. When you try and anchor them down, to slow them down, you'll disappoint them. He's a happy camper. He loves to train, and hopefully he'll be right on the day."

Mitchell said Humor at Last, a winner in 4 of his 13 starts, had a tendon injury that kept him away from the racetrack for more than a year. "I worked with steeplechasers back in England, and they used to get tendons all the time," he said. "The secret, really, is just time."

Mitchell started bringing Humor at Last back in December at Fair Grounds, and guessed it would take six months to get him right. He had the time frame right - now we will see if Humor at Last finally is right again.

* Most of the usual Illinois-bred suspects were entered Wednesday for Saturday's six stakes. Fort Prado looks like the strong favorite in the Black Tie Affair, a race he has won the last two years. Caruso, the Illinois-bred 3-year-old standout, tackles older horses like High Expectations and Last Gran Standing in the White Oak.