03/16/2002 12:00AM

Ask Me No Secrets romps in Oaklawn BC


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Ask Me No Secrets, a rapidly improving filly trained by David Hofmans, won her first stakes before a crowd of 21,836 at Oaklawn on Saturday when she led from start to finish to win the Grade 3, $200,000 Oaklawn Breeders' Cup by 4 1/2 lengths over Red n'Gold.

It was a head back in third to even-money favorite Descapate, who was followed under the wire by Caressing and Search Party.

The Oaklawn Breeders' Cup, the final local prep for the Grade 1,

$500,000 Apple Blossom on April 6, was the richest of two stakes on the card. The Grade 3, $100,000 Razorback Handicap was won by Mr Ross ($7.20).

Ask Me No Secrets ($5.60) broke sharply and took the lead, putting up fractions of 23.45 for the opening quarter, 47.79 seconds for the half-mile, and 1:12.57 for six furlongs. Red n'Gold stalked the pace in second, about a length behind the leader. Through the stretch, Ask Me No Secrets increased her advantage, covering the 1 1/16 miles race over a fast track in 1:44.56.

"They told me to get her running right away, that once she settles into her best stride, she can go a long way, which is why I was urging her right out of the gate and into the first turn," said Mike Smith, who rode Ask Me No Secrets. "When she hit her best stride, those Cantennas' came up and I knew she was going to give me a big race."

Ask Me No Secrets earned $120,000 for the win, her third in five career starts. She has earned $207,600 for her breeder, Earl Shultz., and is expected to make her next start in the Apple Blossom.