03/27/2007 11:00PM

Dunlavy decides to call it a career


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Trainer Terry Dunlavy, who has been a fixture at Oaklawn Park since 1961, said he will retire following the close of the meet on April 14. Dunlavy is a former jockey, and has a farm in Hot Springs.

He first came here to ride for trainer Doug Davis Jr., in the 1960's. Dunlavy launched his training career at the now-closed Narragansett Park in Rhode Island in 1970, and said he won a handicap with his first starter, Vindictim. Other stakes winners he has trained include Dr. Spanky, Coastal Connection, Crystal Illusion, Nebraska, and Timetocheckin.

"I'm still enjoying the business," Dunlavy said. "I just feel at 70 years old, I just want to do a couple of other things before it's too late.

"I've been doing this since I was 10 or 12. I rode my first race in England when I was 15, and came to this country in 1957. I've been married to the same lady for 47 years, and we just wanted to do a couple of things. We wanted to maybe go see the Grand Canyon, do some things that racetrackers don't do."

Dunlavy said he still plans to be involved in the racing industry, and during next year's meet might work for Oaklawn.

"I'm still going to stay breeding one or two horses," he said. "And if Oaklawn finds a position for me that I'd like, I'd like to stay involved. It's home, that's one of the main reasons."

Dunlavy, who recalls riding the first career winner saddled by the future Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Lynn Whiting, has seven horses in training this meet, and owns a number of them with his wife, Janet. Among his homebreds racing here are My Little Connor, a winner of two starter allowance races this meet.

Dunlavy has served for 30 years as a director for the Arkansas Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, and is also a former East Coast director of the Jockeys' Guild. He said that following his retirement, he would like to continue to help with some of the issues facing racing. Dunlavy added that if he misses training, he will have no trouble setting up shop again.

"There's one thing about a trainer, you can always get a saddle and bridle and come back if you get too bored," he said. "But I don't think I will."

Big meet for Forster

Trainer Grant Forster has gone 5 for 11 this meet and has developed two stakes-quality runners in Brother Bobby and Morethan-aprincess. He began the meet with 10 horses, and his local division will soon expand. Forster, who also has 26 horses in training at Emerald Downs, will soon be receiving three horses that his clients have purchased privately from Darley Stable, among them Changing Weather, winner of the Matt Winn last year at Churchill Downs.

Forster's win rate of 45 percent is the highest at Oaklawn.

"We've just been fortunate," he said. "Like anything, when things are going well you get the race when you need it, or the condition, and we've had a couple that have gone through some conditions. Between 'Bobby' and Morethanaprincess, we've got a couple of nice 4-year-olds that are lightly raced. That's an asset at this time of year."

Forster said Brother Bobby, who has won two allowances at the meet, is being pointed for the $100,000 Fifth Season at Oaklawn on April 12. Morethanaprincess is under consideration for the Grade 2, $200,000 Madison at Keeneland on April 11.

"I think she's really come into her own," Forster said of Morethan-aprincess. "Her last win was pretty easy. It will be a huge step up, but I think she'll love the Polytrack, and I think she would really love seven-eighths, so we're going to nominate to that."

Forster, who was born in British Columbia, is the son of longtime trainer David Forster. Grant, 32, began training in 2003. Following the Oaklawn meet he will race his horses at Churchill Downs, as well as Emerald.

"I'm the only one on the Washington-Kentucky-Arkansas circuit," he joked.

* Grade 1 winner Wildcat Bettie B is one of eight fillies and mares entered in the $50,000 Carousel. The six-furlong race will be run Saturday.