10/18/2005 11:00PM

Golden Rainbow can handle any pace


The pace of Friday night's $150,000 Oklahoma Derby might be somewhat unpredictable with four of the 10 horses in the field making blinker changes, but one starter who seems capable of adapting to whatever scenario develops is Golden Rainbow.

He invades from Delaware Park for the marquee race of the Remington Park season, where he will meet Real Dandy, winner of the Grade 3, $750,000 West Virginia Derby in August.

The 1 1/8-mile Oklahoma Derby will share a card with four other stakes, making this the richest program of the meet. The derby is the final leg of an all-stakes pick four on races 6-9, and it is part of a special daily double with race 8.

won an allowance in his last start, on Oct. 9. Although he raced on the pace in that race, he used stalking tactics to win another two-turn allowance in August.

"He's the kind of horse that can be on the front end if there's no pace," said Tim Ritchey, who trains Golden Rainbow. "If not, he can sit just off the pace, three or four lengths back, and still make his run. He's got enough tactical speed you can kind of put him wherever you want."

Ritchey said Golden Rainbow is coming into his own. Two races ago he was third in a Belmont allowance to Watchmon, who has a three-race win streak. Jeremy Rose has the mount on Golden Rainbow.

will add blinkers after finishing eighth as the favorite in the Grade 2, $750,000 Super Derby. A closer, he was compromised by a slow pace in that race. He should be in contention earlier in the Oklahoma Derby with the addition of blinkers.

"He's a horse that broke his maiden gate to wire," said Steve Asmussen, who trains Real Dandy.

Real Dandy should also benefit from shortening up to nine furlongs, the Oklahoma Derby distance, from the 10 furlongs of the Super Derby.

"I think it suits him extremely well," said Asmussen.

Real Dandy is coupled with Jazzy Gallop, who will also add blinkers Friday.

is another who adds blinkers. In a recent drill, he went four furlongs in a bullet 47.20 seconds on Oct. 8.

"He did work awfully good in them," said Joe Petalino, who trains Lucky Bid. "He's pretty aggressive right now."

Lumbre is removing blinkers and stretching out around two turns for the first time. In his last start, he was third in a sprint stakes. Lumbre has since worked well, drilling a mile in a sharp 1:37.80 on Oct. 8.

"His last eighth was phenomenal," said Bret Calhoun, who trains Lumbre. "His last fractions were racehorse time."

Military Major finished fourth in the Super Derby in his last start.

"I think we'll be laying third or fourth, just stalking them in the first turn and down the backside," said Mike Caraman, who trains Military Major.

Flying Eagle has won his last two starts at Remington for trainer Roger Engel.

"He's learned to kind of take it easy the first part of the race and he's really coming around," Engel said.