Updated on 09/16/2011 7:04AM

Blinkers enhance Perfect Fantasy's natural speed


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Trainer Bob Holthus's homebred colt, Perfect Fantasy, is the one to catch in the $50,000 Rainbow, one of two six-furlong stakes for 3-year-old statebreds Saturday at Oaklawn Park. Also on the 11-race card is the $50,000 Rainbow Miss, which drew the undefeated Supreme Discovery.

Holthus, who is in his 50th year of training, raises a limited number of horses at his Kilkerry Farm in Royal, Ark., which was established in 1969.

Perfect Fantasy made his first start against statebreds last out in an entry-level allowance, and he led the field wire to wire, winning the race by 4 3/4 lengths and earning a 95 Beyer Speed Figure. "The other day was the first time we put blinkers on him, and it really woke him up," Holthus said.

"He's always been a decent colt. We hope he's got a good chance to win it, because he belongs to the house [me]."

Leading rider James Lopez has the mount on Perfect Fantasy.

The chief threats to Perfect Fantasy include the Cole Norman-trained Snowball King, a $50,000 claim two starts ago who makes his second start on Lasix, and Robe Bayou, an impressive maiden winner over open company in his last start March 17.

"Robe Bayou ran a good race," Norman said. "He broke tardy, came up the inside, and [dealt] with an off track. He ought to improve off that race."

Another to consider is My Good Trick, who was claimed for $50,000 out of his last race by prominent owner Richard Englander. Marlon St. Julien has the mount for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Three-peat for Supreme Discovery?

Supreme Discovery, who is perfect in two career starts, is the one to beat in the Rainbow Miss. She won her debut by five lengths Feb. 18, then returned to win a statebred entry-level allowance by a length, covering six furlongs in a sharp 1:11.40.

For her effort, she earned an 87 Beyer Speed Figure, which is at least 28 points higher than any other filly in the field. Regular rider Rodney Trader has the mount for trainer Jayd Schuyler.

Luis Quinonez will ride the late-running Humble Billie, who closed from 17 lengths off the pace to win her maiden last out, proving 5 1/4 lengths better than a field of statebred foes. One start previously, she finished second to Supreme Discovery. Humble Billie is owned and trained by James Danaher.

Threats to Supreme Discovery include Danin Girl and Princess Pamela.

Secret Romeo ships in

, who was recently named Michigan-bred Horse of the Year, arrived at Oaklawn on Wednesday night for the Grade 1, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap on April 6. In his last start, the Gerald Bennett-trained Secret Romeo won the $100,000 Lost Code Handicap at Sportsman's Park on March 9. Overall, he has won 14 of 23 starts and $425,572 for his owner, AAC Stable.

Secret Romeo is a son of Service Stripe.

Mr Ross, the Grade 3, $100,000 Razorback Handicap winner who is also pointing for the Oaklawn Handicap, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.80 on Thursday. Weights for the 1 1/8-mile race were due Friday.

Purses go up again

Oaklawn has increased purses for overnight races $500 each beginning Saturday. This is the fourth purse increase at the meet, which is a record for Oaklawn, according to general manager Eric Jackson.

The increase is in part because of an increase in offtrack handle, as well as the success of Instant Racing. The season runs through April 13.

* Merle Brady, a longtime owner from Seiling, Okla., has died. Brady is known best for campaigning Baygo, who won at least one race each season at Oaklawn for eight consecutive years. "She even beat the boys," said Holthus, who trained for Brady.

* There is no racing at Oaklawn on Sunday in observance of Easter. Racing will resume Wednesday.

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