03/29/2007 11:00PM

Eagle Town vs. statebreds in first stakes try


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Eagle Town is the most accomplished runner in the $50,000 Rainbow Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Sunday, and should start as a solid favorite in the restricted six-furlong race for 3-year-olds bred in Arkansas.

Other top contenders in the six-horse field are Course, who earned a Beyer Figure of 80 for his maiden win here March 2; and Elite Etbauer, a half-brother to a past Rainbow winner, Tiger Six.

But it is Eagle Town who owns more career wins than any of his rivals in the Rainbow, with a record of 2 victories from 7 starts. A consistent runner, his wins have come in open company, one in a $25,000 maiden claiming race at Fair Grounds on Nov. 26 and the other in a $25,000 conditioned claiming race at Oaklawn on Feb. 10. Both races were at six furlongs.

"He's an honest horse," said Dewaine Loy, who owns and trains Eagle Town. "He's laid back, nothing seems to bother him. He's taken everything in stride. He's a nice horse."

Eagle Town comes into the Rainbow off a second-place finish to Grady O in a second-level allowance for Arkansas-breds here March 8.

"The other day, we got stuck with the one hole and had no choice but to kind of shoot for the lead and kind of got hooked all the way around there," said Loy, a native of Hot Springs. "My horse dug in. Cinnamonsluckypic, he put pressure on us the whole way, and we set it up real good for the 4-year-old that won it."

Eagle Town drew post 4 for the Rainbow, and will be ridden by Carlos Gonzalez.

Humble Smarty comes out of the same allowance as Eagle Town. He finished fourth in the race, one start after winning his maiden by 3 1/2 lengths in a statebred race at Oaklawn on Feb. 15. He will break from post 3 under John McKee.

"He'll probably run right close to the front end, or maybe on the front, depending on how it works out," said Jim Danaher, who bred, owns, and trains Humble Smarty.

Course led throughout when he won his maiden, by 1 3/4 lengths. Trainer Jorge Lara has given the mount to Eddie Razo Jr.