02/16/2007 12:00AM

Devil House makes two-turn debut


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Devil House will be trying something new when she chases after her fifth straight win Sunday in the $50,000 Martha Washington at Oaklawn Park. She is making her first start around two turns in the one-mile race for 3-year-old fillies, which drew 10.

"I really think she can handle the two turns," said Terry Gestes, who trains Devil House, a daughter of Chester House, for William Stiritz.

Devil House has not lost since she won her maiden at five furlongs at Ellis Park in July. From there, she won an allowance and the $100,000 Bassinet, both at River Downs, before capturing the $50,000 Dixie Belle at six furlongs at Oaklawn in her last start, on Jan. 20.

Devil House will break from post 10 under Terry Thompson.

"Her form shows that she has tactical speed sprinting, so you kind of really don't want to throw her off her game too much," said Gestes. "I think she's just going to have natural speed and will be laying close to the lead, if not on the lead, depending on who else we hook in the race that has speed."

Cat on a Cloud is another with speed. A stakes winner last year, she will also be making her two-turn debut in the Martha Washington.

"It's better now to see if she's going to do it or not," trainer Ronny Werner said of the distance. "I mean, she's doing good. I'd like to see how she's going to like the two turns. If she doesn't, we know what we need to do the rest of the year instead of wondering."

East Hampton also makes the move to two turns after winning both of her starts. She is a half-sister to Brownie Points, the winner of last year's Martha Washington. East Hampton drew post 3, and will be ridden by Quincy Hamilton.

"She's only run the two times short and she was kind of a stalker then, so I would think [we'll see] a similar scenario," said Donnie Von Hemel, who trains East Hampton.

Miss Goodnight looks like the one that Devil House, Cat on a Cloud, and East Hampton will have to fend off in the stretch. She is the lone horse in the field with a stakes win around two turns, and she will break from the rail under Stewart Elliott.

"I like the fact that there's a couple of speed horses in there," said Tim Ritchey, who trains Miss Goodnight. "She can get a good stalking trip, save ground around the turn, and hopefully run them down."