12/13/2007 1:00AM

Drilling for Oil makes return

EmailDrilling for Oil and Slew's Tizzy, a pair of stakes winners at interesting junctures in their respective careers, are among a full field of 3-year-olds and upward entered Saturday in the $50,000 Prairie Bayou Stakes at Turfway Park.

Drilling for Oil won the May 26 Louisville Handicap in his last race and therefore will make his first start in nearly seven months when he breaks from post 3 in the Prairie Bayou, a 1 1/8-mile race on Polytrack.

"He had a small problem back in the spring after that race," said trainer Ken McPeek, trainer of Drilling for Oil.

Conversely, Slew's Tizzy has been active in recent months and was particularly sharp in his last two races, resulting in third-place finishes in the Oct. 27 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park and the Nov. 11 Commonwealth Turf at Churchill Downs.

"This seems like a really good spot for him," said Dr. Greg Fox, trainer of Slew's Tizzy. "After the Churchill race I tried to give him a break, but he wasn't happy about it. I gave him seven days off and he was miserable. He's a very, very good-feeling horse."

Drilling for Oil will be turning back from a 1 1/2-mile turf race, which gives McPeek reason to believe the colt may need more distance.

"Obviously, this is his first race back off the shelf, and he'll probably head south after that," he said, referring to a winter campaign at Gulfstream Park. "He's a horse you need to race. He's not the easiest horse I ever trained. He's very headstrong, and he does much better when you get him running. I just thought Polytrack would be the first step and we'd take it from there."

While Drilling for Oil accounted for the Grade 3 Louisville as his lone stakes triumph, Slew's Tizzy, a 3-year-old colt by Tiznow, won the Lexington Stakes and Lone Star Derby earlier this year.

Other contenders in the field of 12 include Catman Running, winner of the Battaglia Memorial at Turfway in March, and Sidcup, a winner in 3 of 6 starts over synthetic surfaces.

The Prairie Bayou is the 11th of 12 races and is directly preceded by a $28,000 allowance, featuring the return of Roman Dynasty, a two-time stakes winner now trained by McPeek.