05/27/2011 2:17PM

Arapahoe: Forest Mouse seeks fifth straight in Inaugural


Forest Mouse will have to run down Oops and a Half in order to win his fifth straight race Sunday in the $40,000 Inaugural at Arapahoe Park in Aurora, Col. The six-furlong race for 3-year-olds is the first Thoroughbred stakes of the mixed meet that runs through Aug. 21.

Forest Mouse has been on top of his game since March, when he won a first-level allowance sprint on the main track at Turf Paradise. He then moved to two turns and turf at the Phoenix track and won the $25,000 Tempe Handicap on March 19, and an optional $30,000 claimer over older horses April 19. Forest Mouse remained routing for his most recent start, when he shipped to New Mexico and won the $50,000 Sun Ray Park Casino Handicap on May 21.

He was prominent in that race, and on the turnback might get a stalking trip behind Oops and a Half, who set a quick pace last out when second in a first-level optional $50,000 claimer at Oaklawn Park on April 16. Perry Whetstone, who has been aboard Forest Mouse throughout his win streak, has the mount once again for owner-trainer Mark Jensen.

Oops and a Half won two claiming sprints during the Oaklawn meet, and in one of them covered six furlongs in a sharp 1:10.80. He will break from post 5, just outside of Forest Mouse. Russell Vicchrilli has the mount for trainer Kevin Favre.

Others making up the 10-horse field include Wally Van, a stakes-placed son of Crafty Shaw who popped a career-high Beyer Figure of 85 last out when second by a neck in a second-level optional $20,000 claimer at Sun Ray.

No shipping restrictions to Colorado

The case of Equine Herpesvirus that stemmed from a recent cutting horse show in Utah and that has launched a nationwide investigation into any possible spread of the disease, has not led to any shipping restrictions into Arapahoe.

“It really hasn’t presented a problem to us at all,” said Bill Powers, the plant manager of the track. “There’s no restrictions. It’s been business as usual.”

Powers said horses shipped to Colorado must simply obtain an entry permit number from the Colorado Department of Agriculture. It is a code that goes on a horse’s health certificate.

The EHV-1 that was detected was a neurologic form of the virus. It can lead to weakness in the hind end, tremors, and other nervous system symptoms, according to a release from the Texas Animal Health Commission.