02/01/2006 12:00AM

Allowance points Southwest

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HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - A number of 3-year-olds in a one-mile allowance Friday at Oaklawn should advance to the $250,000 Southwest Stakes, the first local prep for the Grade 2 Arkansas Derby.

will vie for favoritism in the two-other-than allowance, race 2, off a recent win at the Fair Grounds meet at Louisiana Downs. He was up for a head win in that 1 1/16-mile allowance, held Jan. 7. It was Steppenwolfer's second win on dirt in three main-track starts, and he overcame trouble, noted his trainer, Dan Peitz.

"He was inside of horses, then he had a horse laying on him kind of from the five-sixteenths pole to the eighth pole," he said. "He just got a ton of experience in the race. And he was still able to get out and come with a run and get up."

Peitz said Steppenwolfer has had two strong works at Oaklawn since the race, including a bullet five-furlong move in 1:00 on Jan. 20. He said one concern he does have for Friday is that the race comes at what is a less-than-optimum distance for Steppenwolfer.

"He's going to be a colt that is going to want to run all day," said Peitz, who has given the mount to Robby Albarado.

will be making his first start around two turns. In his last out, he was fourth in the Grade 3 Iroquois on Nov. 5. He broke from the rail in that one-mile race at Churchill Downs.

"He ran real well," said Steve Hobby, who trains Mr. Pinstripe. "He had an inside post, and it made him kind of lay up a little closer than we wanted to [in] a pretty hot pace."

Mr. Pinstripe drew post 6 on Friday, and he could get a different kind of trip in the race. "I think he can stalk," said Hobby, who has given the mount to Carlos Marquez Jr.

Trainer Bob Holthus has two starters, with coming off a win in an entry-level allowance at one mile on Jan. 21, and Rocket Beauty stretching back out to two turns following a sixth-place finish in the $50,000 Dixieland on Jan. 20.

Out Our Way, a stakes winner at six furlongs, finished second going a mile in the $75,000 MEC at Remington Park. Trainer Steve Wren has given the mount to John Jacinto.

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is represented by Sharp Attack, who two starts ago was fourth in the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland.