09/03/2007 12:00AM

Wicked Style making name for himself


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Wicked Style won a non-descript maiden race early on a Saturday in mid-July at Arlington Park, and he was an 8-1 shot Saturday in an apparently so-so edition of the Arlington-Washington Futurity. But Wicked Style's name is out there now, and racing fans may get to know this horse even better before the year is out.

Wicked Style won the Futurity by a nose, coming back on a talented Bill Mott-trained colt named Riley Tucker. Wicked Style is 2 for 2 on Polytrack, and will make his next start on the all-weather surface at Keeneland in the Breeders' Futurity next month.

"Finally, he gets to run out of his own stall," said trainer Rusty Arnold, who has based Wicked Style at Keeneland since the colt came in from a 2-year-old sale in March.

Arnold, who seems quite high on Wicked Style, said the colt "came out of the race very good," and was to ship from Arlington back to Keeneland on Monday.

Wicked Style was picked out of an Ocala breeze-up sale on behalf of Arnold and owner Glen Brommagen by a bloodstock adviser named David Ingordo, Arnold said.

"David said, 'I think you can go right on with him, and I think he can stretch out,' and that was what we were looking for," Arnold said. "He was one that just never missed a beat. I don't think he's missed a day from the time that we got him."

Wicked Style is a leggy son of first-crop sire Macho Uno, who was a good 2-year-old and who could stay a distance of ground. Arnold said that Saturday's race and the Breeders' Futurity had been the plan since Wicked Style shipped to win his maiden race here.

"We thought the mile would be great," he said. "We knew going in the only thing he lacked was experience, and to get passed inside the sixteenth pole and come back to win with only one start, that's impressive."

Boyce stable stars ready for action

Michelle Boyce, who had something of a dry August, is back in business, and not just because horses she trains swept the early daily double Saturday. Jennie R., who won an overnight stakes and nearly wired the Grade 3 Modesty Handicap earlier in the meet, is poised to make her first start since a failed effort in the Beverly D. Handicap in the Ada Rice Illinois Owners' Stakes on Sept. 15. Also, the Illinois-bred Best of Buddies has worked twice in recent days and is getting closer to making his first start since he upset the Hawthorne Derby last fall. And finally, Rocket Rodd, the most impressive Illinois-bred 2-year-old maiden winner seen so far this meet, is back from a 30-day break and is being pointed to a fall campaign at Hawthorne.

Best of Buddies won 3 of his final 4 starts in 2006 and is unbeaten in four turf races. He won the Hawthorne Derby at odds of 12-1, but came out of the race with a tendon injury that has kept him out of action ever since.

"It wasn't a bow, per se, but it was as close as it could be," Boyce said. "We sent him to Florida, gave him all winter off, time to recover. He's been in training since the beginning of this meet, but we're taking it very conservatively. He still has a ways to go, but I'm happy with the way he's progressing."

Jennie R. set the pace but tired to finish fifth in the Beverly D., and though she was a tired horse coming out of that race, Jennie R. has bounced back.

"She's training up a storm," Boyce said.

Jennie R., a daughter of Awesome Again, is scheduled to be sold at Keeneland in November.

Rocket Rodd won his July 22 debut by seven lengths, but rather than tackle open horses and point for something like the Arlington-Washington Futurity, Boyce opted for a more prudent approach.

"I just opted to turn him out rather than be tempted to run him over his head," Boyce said.

A logical spot for Rocket Rodd would be the Nov. 3 Sun Power Stakes at Hawthorne.

* Owner Frank Calabrese eclipsed his own meet record for wins Saturday. The Calabrese colors flew twice that afternoon, giving him 67 wins here this summer. Calabrese's trainer, Wayne Catalano, needs three more wins to break his meet record.

* West Coast Coach, whose connections passed on the Arlington-Washington Futurity last weekend, worked a sharp five furlongs in 59 seconds on Sunday and is scheduled to start Saturday in the Prairie Meadows Freshman Stakes.