02/09/2005 12:00AM

Carroll County faces test


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Carroll County, who is undefeated in two career starts, will face the toughest challenge of his young career on Friday when he takes on 10 rivals in a two-other-than allowance sprint at Oaklawn Park.

The six-furlong race, for 4-year-olds and up, also includes Wild Wild West, a statebred stakes winner at Prairie Meadows, and Call Roy, a 13 1/2-length allowance winner against Indiana-breds who invades from Kentucky.

won his maiden last March at Oaklawn. He pushed a hot pace and won the six-furlong race by a head, covering the distance in 1:10.40. He returned to action last month, and won a one-other-than by three lengths, covering six furlongs in 1:11.20.

Carroll County settled in fifth early in the race, and then darted clear through the stretch to earn a Beyer Speed Figure of 95, the highest last-race number among all starters in Friday's feature. It was also a career-best figure for Carroll County, a 4-year-old son of Wild Rush who is trained by Don Von Hemel.

Carroll County could get a nice pace to stalk, courtesy of several starters, including Wild Wild West, Mr. Big Town, Defense Motion, and Peerless Tee. Terry Thompson has the mount on Carroll County.

last raced in August, finishing second as the favorite in the $77,000 Iowa Breeders' Derby. He shows a nice series of works for his return. The race will be his first at six furlongs since May, when he won the $57,000 Grays Lake for Iowa-breds at Prairie Meadows in 1:09.60.

Justin Shepherd will ride Wild Wild West for trainer Larry Jones.

owns some of the field's best Beyers, all of which came in races restricted to horses bred in Indiana. He earned a Beyer of 96 for his 12 1/4-length win in a maiden special weight for Indiana-breds on Sept. 4, then in his next start earned a 90 in a 13 1/2-length win against conditioned allowance foes, also at Hoosier Park.

Both races were at six furlongs, a distance at which Call Roy is stakes placed. Call Roy last raced Dec. 17, finishing a troubled fourth in an open-company allowance at Hawthorne. He has since been training at the Churchill Downs Training Center in Louisville, Ky.

* John McKee has been suspended seven calendar days, through Sunday, for a riding infraction that led to the disqualification of his mount Kickboard from second to ninth in a race last Friday.