02/27/2009 12:00AM

Ambitious plans for Bon Jovi Girl


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Trainer Tim Ritchey would like to see Bon Jovi Girl develop into a candidate for the Kentucky Oaks. She won her 3-year-old debut Thursday at Oaklawn in impressive fashion, and is headed to the Grade 3, $100,000 Honeybee here March 15.

"I would think that would be her next start, and then hopefully the Fantasy," Ritchey said of the Grade 2, $250,000 race to be run at Oaklawn on April 5.

"We gave her a little freshener with the eye to come in here and try to run in the big 3-year-old stakes and go on, hopefully, to the Kentucky Oaks."

Bon Jovi Girl on Thursday was making her first start since Oct. 18 in an optional $75,000 claiming sprint at six furlongs, and among her rivals were older stakes winners Blitzing, Amazing Tale, and Pro Pink. She came into the race off a six-length win in the $75,000 Blue Hen, a 1 1/16-mile race at Delaware Park.

"At this time of the year, in February, you don't see too many 3-year-old fillies beat older horses," Ritchey said. "Maidens, you'll see it. But you don't see it too often in older allowance condition races, especially doing something that really isn't her forte, which is sprinting.

"She was very sharp coming off the layup."

The Blue Hen was one of two stakes Bon Jovi Girl won last year. The other was the $100,000 Fairway, also at 1 1/16 miles at Delaware. She won off by 9 3/4 lengths and from there ran fourth to Dream Empress in the Grade 1 Alcibiades at Keeneland. Bon Jovi Girl, who is by Malibu Moon, is a half-sister to Gio Ponti, a Grade 2 winner at 3 who has earned $825,800.

"She's a quality filly," Ritchey said. "I think she's got big things yet ahead of her. She's got a good pedigree. She's grown, she's developed, she's filled out, so I look for good things from her as a 3-year-old."

Bon Jovi Girl races for Ritchey and Blaze of Glory Stable.

Stakes options for She's Our Annie

She's Our Annie, who set a quick pace and drew off by six lengths in her first start against winners, was another impressive 3-year-old winner on Thursday's card. She is now 2 for 3 for Destiny Oaks of Ocala and trainer Jinks Fires.

She's Our Annie, who was facing $55,000 optional claimers, covered six furlongs in a sharp 1:10.77 and could move into a sprint stakes for her next start. Fires said she will be considered for the $50,000 Prima Donna for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs here on March 22.

"I've got to talk to the owners, and we'll decide together," said Fires.

Long-term, he said he would like to move She's Our Annie to two turns for the $100,000 Instant Racing for 3-year-old fillies at a mile here on April 11. She is a daughter of Medaglia d'Oro, and in her lone career loss she finished third to the well-regarded Be Fair in a maiden special weight race on opening weekend at Oaklawn.

Be Fair went on to win an allowance in her next start and is now being pointed for the Honeybee, said her trainer, D. Wayne Lukas.

'Rachel' comes out of work well

Rachel Alexandra, one of the top 3-year-old fillies in the country, came out of her stellar five-furlong work at Oaklawn on Thursday morning in good order and remains on target for the Grade 2, $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks on March 14, her trainer, Hal Wiggins, said on Friday.

"She was pretty spry this morning," he said.

Rachel Alexandra breezed in 1:00.80. She was well within herself, and galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.80. The move was Rachel Alexandra's first since her eight-length win in the $50,000 Martha Washington on Feb. 15. Rachel Alexandra earned a Beyer Figure of 99 for the effort, the same number she earned in her 2-year-old finale in the Grade 2 Golden Rod at Churchill Downs.

Semaphore Man likely for Hot Springs

Semaphore Man, the winner of last year's Grade 3, $150,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn, is probable for the $50,000 Hot Springs Stakes here March 21, but there is an outside chance he could travel to Fair Grounds for the $125,000 Duncan F. Kenner on March 14, according to his trainer, Kelly Von Hemel.

"We'll probably go for the Hot Springs," said Von Hemel.

Semaphore Man was second to Native Ruler in the $50,000 King Cotton at Oaklawn in his last start, Jan. 31, and for the effort earned a Beyer Figure of 100. His major meet objective is a defense of his Count Fleet title on April 10.

* Fires trains the winners of the last two runnings of Oaklawn's Essex Handicap, Prom Shoes and Spotsgone, and said Friday both of those horses are being pointed to the Grade 3, $150,000 Razorback Handicap here next Saturday. Prom Shoes won this meet's Essex, and Spotsgone won the race in 2008.

* Prenuptial Vow stretches back out to a mile, the distance of her three career wins, in the ninth race Sunday, a first-level allowance for 3- and 4-year-old fillies. She was third at the same level in a six-furlong race last time.

* The tote board stopped working after the first race on Friday due to a lightning strike, according to Oaklawn officials. The races, themselves, were being run as scheduled.

* The Grade 2, $1 million Arkansas Derby will be broadcast live on ESPN2 when it is run here April 11.