03/26/2002 1:00AM

Beau's Town too hot to stop now


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Beau's Town is training so sharply that he will go in the $50,000 Hot Springs Stakes Friday instead of waiting for the Grade 3, $150,000 Count Fleet Handicap here April 11.

"I really wanted to run in the Count Fleet, but it seems like the best move for the horse right now is the Hot Springs," said Dave Hulkewicz, owner of Beau's Town, who has won four straight. "He's doing so good and he's feeling so good, I hate to wait a couple more weeks to run him. He wants to do more right now."

Beau's Town worked four furlongs in a bullet 46.40 seconds last Sunday. He galloped out five furlongs in 59 seconds, according to Hulkewicz.

The Hot Springs, run over six furlongs, will be the stakes debut of Beau's Town, who has won his last four starts by a combined 13 lengths. His one career defeat came in his debut, when he ran second, beaten a length in a maiden race at Louisiana Downs.

After that race, he was purchased by Hulkewicz and turned over to trainer Cole Norman, who won nine races last week at Oaklawn to remain atop the standings with 31 wins, 13 more than Kenny Smith and Stanley Roberts, who were tied for second place in the standings going into the races Wednesday.

Beau's Town, a 4-year-old son of Beau Genius, will be ridden by Anthony Lovato.

Humble Clerk Horse of the Year

It is fitting that Beau's Town will run this week. He was bred in Arkansas, and the state's breeding program will be the focus of an awards banquet Friday night and of the racing on Saturday, when two six-furlong stakes for 3-year-old statebreds will be decided: the $50,000 Rainbow and the $50,000 Rainbow Miss.

Humble Clerk, who won the $150,000 Arlington Matron Handicap last October, will be honored as the Arkansas Thoroughbred Breeders' and Horsemen's Association's Horse of the Year at the Austin Hotel and Convention Center in Hot Springs. Her earnings of $144,580 last year led all registered Arkansas-breds in 2001.

Humble Clerk's dam, Deputy Clerk, will be honored as broodmare of the year. She is owned by Jim Danaher of Pine Bluff, Ark.

Proper Reality, who is back in Arkansas this year after standing in Oklahoma and Texas, is the ATBHA's stallion of the year. His registered Arkansas-bred progeny earned $612,293 last year in North America to claim the title over Big Pistol.

Proper Reality's offspring swept the Rainbow and Rainbow Miss Stakes last year at Oaklawn, when trainer Bob Holthus won the races with Tub Tosser and Suzanne's Flying.

Statebreds a Rice specialty

Trainer Howard Rice, who is in his second season at Oaklawn, will send out Dancin Girl in the Rainbow Miss. Rice has won four races from 19 starts at the meet, and all of those wins have been with horses bred in Arkansas.

In fact, all 10 horses Rice has stabled at Oaklawn this meet are Arkansas-breds, and as a result, he has kept close tabs on the competition Dancin Girl will face in the Rainbow Miss. He expects the betting focus to be on the undefeated Supreme Discovery, a $500 supplemental nomination who won a six-furlong entry-level allowance in 1:11.55 on March 13.

"She should be the favorite, I would think, and after that it should be a wide-open race," said Rice.

Dancin Girl finished fourth to Supreme Discovery in her last race, and before that won a conditioned claimer against open company Feb. 14. "I think if she runs like I know she can, she'll be in the top three," said Rice.

Dancin Girl races for her breeder, Becky Winemiller, and will be ridden by Greg Schaefer.