09/04/2009 11:00PM

Veiled Prophet may be the 'now' horse


Veiled Prophet can't match the career feats of some of his rivals in the closing-day feature at Ellis Park. Still eligible for a third-level allowance condition after earning $123,550, the 4-year-old Veiled Prophet has amassed just a fraction of what horses such as Desert Wheat ($571,001) and Dominican ($739,383) have run up.

But what have they all done lately? Veiled Prophet was beaten 6 1/2 lengths in his last start by Justenuffhumor, arguably the hottest turf miler in America today. Following that very respectable effort in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap on Aug. 2 at Saratoga, and in further consideration of a two-back allowance win over the Churchill Downs turf, it's quite conceivable that Veiled Prophet will be the favorite - and winner - when Ellis Park lowers the curtain on its 2009 meet with the second running of the $50,000 Cliff Guilliams Memorial.

Ten older turf horses are entered in the Guilliams, a 1 1/16-mile turf race that is the 10th of 11 races. Veiled Prophet, trained by Rusty Arnold, will break from post 8 when he tries to parlay that encouraging recency into his fourth victory from 16 starts.

The old pros Desert Wheat (post 9) and Dominican (post 3) look like the strongest opposition. Desert Wheat is a consummate veteran with 9 wins and 10 seconds from 45 starts, while Dominican was good enough to defeat the eventual Kentucky Derby winner, Street Sense, in the 2007 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.

Other possibilities include Leading On, entered off back-to-back decent efforts in stakes at Mountaineer; Luck Money, a speedy shipper in from New York; Mr Maccool, winner of the 2008 Jersey Derby; and The Unbelievable, a longshot winner of a local turf allowance early in the meet.

The Guilliams is named for the longtime chart-caller and turf writer who died unexpectedly in April 2008.

Monday marks the 28th and final day of the meet at Ellis in Henderson, Ky., where track owner Ron Geary is in the process of evaluating whether to host a meet next year. Geary said in June that he intended to shutter Ellis for good because of insurmountable financial difficulties but has softened that stance in recent weeks.

First post Monday is 12:10 p.m. Central.