03/18/2003 1:00AM

Forty Nine Deeds should get pace


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Forty Nine Deeds's second-place finish to Colorful Tour on opening weekend at Oaklawn Park is starting to look like a pretty nice credential. The two horses met Feb. 1, and since then, Colorful Tour has gone on two win two major stakes at the meet and is headed next to the Grade 2, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap on April 5.

Forty Nine Deeds has an easier task Thursday. He will take on six older horse in a three-other-than allowance worth $34,000. The 1 1/16-mile race has also drawn Drewman, a stakes-placed horse who has been working well for his first start since Feb. 10, 2002.

Forty Nine Deeds, a stakes winner last year as a 3-year-old, has made just one start since Feb. 1, finishing seventh in the mud in an Oaklawn allowance Feb. 22. But the fractions in that race were modest, and that worked against Forty Nine Deeds, who is a closer.

Things should be different Thursday. Drewman is fresh and has been working sharply, suggesting he will show speed. And he is not the only quick horse in the field.

King Zonic, who will break from post 2, is at his best when he is on the lead, and he comes into the race on the heels of a bullet six-furlong work in 1:14 for trainer Kenny Smith. Another who is quick is the Sonny Wigginton-trained Wave, who has vied for the lead from the start in most of his races.

The three should make for honest fractions Thursday, and there is even a chance Forty Nine Deeds will be a little closer to the pace than he was in his last start. Since that race, Forty Nine Deeds worked five furlongs in a bullet 1:00.20, which should have his mind on speed. Steve Asmussen, who trains Forty Nine Deeds for his father, Keith, has given the mount to James Lopez.

Drewman is interesting entrant. A 5-year-old by Unbridled, he has not raced since he finished ninth to Valhol in the $125,000 Whirlaway Handicap at Fair Grounds in 2001. Before that race, he was beaten a neck by Crafty Shaw in the $75,000 Diplomat Way.

Crafty Shaw went on to win the Grade 3 Essex Handicap at Oaklawn in his next start, the same race Colorful Tour won this year, one start after defeating Forty Nine Deeds.

Drewman has worked consecutive bullets on March 7 and March 11 for his comeback, and has won following a layoff before, although the time between races was much shorter than what he must overcome Thursday. Jon Court has the mount for Williams Family Racing and trainer Harold Williams.

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