02/08/2008 12:00AM

Casse prepares Turf War for Southwest


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Turf War, who in his last start won the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Jackpot in a dead heat with Z Humor, is scheduled to make his season debut at Oaklawn on Feb. 18 in the Grade 3, $250,000 Southwest, according to trainer Mark Casse.

Casse said Friday that Turf War was being vanned to Hot Springs from his Ocala, Fla., base and was to arrive at Oaklawn on Saturday morning. The horse is scheduled to work here Wednesday. Calvin Borel has the mount in the Southwest. He teamed with Turf War in the Jackpot, which was run at Delta Downs on Dec. 7.

Casse said there were several different reasons the Southwest was chosen as a target for Turf War.

"It's been quite successful in recent years, and I thought the timing was good," he said. "And that was the type of racetrack that I wanted to run him over. There were a few different reasons. It's a good place to start."

Smarty Jones won the Southwest in 2004 and went on to capture the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Other past winners include Lawyer Ron and Teuflesberg.

Turf War has trained right along for the Southwest. He drilled five furlongs in 59.20 seconds Jan. 31, then came back and breezed the same distance in 1:01.80 on Thursday. Both works came at the Ocala Training Center.

Others expected for the Southwest include the undefeated Denis of Cork, who from two starts has a maiden special weight win at Churchill Downs and a first-level allowance score at Fair Grounds.

Doyouwanttodance seeks six straight

Doyouwanttodance will be seeking her sixth consecutive win Sunday when she starts in the featured eighth race. She is moving back to the allowance ranks for the six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares after winning the $50,000 American Beauty here Jan. 19.

Doyouwanttodance began her streak in March 2007, with a maiden special weight win at Oaklawn. She proceeded to win three more optional-claiming races between Oaklawn and Delta Downs before her 2 3/4-length win in the American Beauty.

Doyouwanttodance is a front-runner and will break from the rail under Kirk LeBlanc. Ralph Irwin trains the West Virginia-bred daughter of Disco Rico for her breeder, Melissa Cantacuzene.

Fast Deal, the runner-up in the American Beauty, is part of the nine-horse field Sunday. The race also drew Akronism, who in her last start won the $142,000 Distaff Handicap on the Maryland Million program at Laurel.