10/16/2001 11:00PM

Two tough Ebert turf runners face Young Trev


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Regular followers of Arlington racing will long ago have learned to take notice of turf starters from the Dennis Ebert stable. The problem in Friday's eighth race is that there are two of them.

Jo Jo's Boy and General's Sword, both turf winners at this meet for Ebert, are among 10 horses entered in the Friday feature, a second-level allowance at about one mile on grass. They have Young Trev to beat, who's more established at this class level than either of the Ebert-trained horses.

But both Jo Jo's Boy and Generals Sword - who race uncoupled in the wagering - have won over a yielding course, which could come into play Friday with rain possible late in the week. The turf course still has not fully recovered from the drenching it took last week.

General's Sword, a Sword Dance gelding owned by T. Starr Porter, ran evenly in his first two grass starts, one this spring, one early this summer, but when Ebert returned him to turf in early September, General's Sword was vastly improved. He won his maiden Sept. 5 and pulled off a difficult double when he came back to beat allowance foes by three lengths.

Jo Jo's Boy, meanwhile, won a first-level allowance at the rarely run distance of 1 1/2 miles, cutting back in his most recent start to 1 1/16 miles and finishing third, beaten only a neck for second.

Young Trev is from the Mickey Goldfine stable and the property of an ownership group that includes Wayne Gretzky. He cleared his first allowance condition several months ago and has been knocking on the door at this class level. He finished a head behind Idarado in his last start, and Idarado returned to score a convincing win over Jo Jo's Boy and others late last month.

If the race is transferred to dirt Hike and Honor Me become the prime contenders.

Publication works for Juvenile

Arlington-Washington Futurity winner Publication, one of 13 pre-entries in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, had a major tune-up for the race when he worked six furlongs on Tuesday at Arlington. With trainer Terry Knight in from California to observe the work, Publication went six furlongs in 1:15.40 - out seven furlongs in 1:29 - with jockey Frank Lovato in the irons. The time may seem slow, but Arlington's track was very deep for Tuesday's works, and Publication's was the second-fastest of four works at the distance. For comparison, the fastest five-furlong work Tuesday was 1:01.

"He didn't get anything out of the first quarter," Knight said. "He definitely finished well and I liked that. I don't want to see a horse coming back at me at the end of a work, and he didn't do that."

Knight said Publication would work once more here before shipping to Belmont.

Pridham will set up her own shop

Hilary Pridham, the longtime assistant to Noel Hickey and most recently trainer Mike Stidham's top assistant, is going out on her own at the conclusion of Arlington's meet. Pridham said she has been given eight stalls for the Fair Grounds meet, though she will officially launch her career as head trainer at Hawthorne.

Her first win, in fact, could come in a graded stakes race, since Where's Taylor, likely to be the favorite in the Carey Memorial on Hawthorne's opening weekend, will run in her name. Where's Taylor is owned by Barry Golden, for whom Pridham will train four horses.

Pridham was second-leading trainer at Arlington in 1997 when Hickey's horses ran in her name.