03/06/2007 12:00AM

Hello Ladies cleverly spotted in allowance

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HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Trainer Ron Moquett can keep his outstanding Oaklawn Park season rolling along on Thursday, when he sends out eight-time winner Hello Ladies in the eighth race, a first-level allowance. The six-furlong sprint is one of two strong offerings on the card. The ninth is a $65,000 optional claiming sprint that drew such stakes winners as Pro Prado and Marq French.

Moquett is tied for third in the Oaklawn standings, and his 24-percent win rate here is one of the best among all trainers. He sends out Hello Ladies for the first time, after his client Burning Sands Stable claimed the horse for $20,000 on Feb. 10. Hello Ladies won by 5 3/4 quarter lengths that day and earned a Beyer Figure of 90.

Hello Ladies will step up in class for the $34,000 allowance, and Moquett is hopeful he will fit. The trainer won a recent first-level allowance here with Saalb, who defeated some of the same horses that will be facing Hello Ladies.

"We thought if there weren't any great big newcomers to that group, he would be competitive with them if he was to run that race back," Moquett said of Hello Ladies. "On paper, it looked like he could run that fast, and if not, then we go back to starters."

Hello Ladies is the highest earner in the field, and he has won many races. A number of his rivals are maiden winners, and none have more than three wins, although most have been facing optional claiming and allowance rivals.

"I think that if it comes down to experience, then we would have to have a little bit of an edge," said Moquett. "We'll see if the talent level and the class matches up."

Hello Ladies will break from post 8 under Calvin Borel.

"It looks like he's pretty versatile," Moquett said of Hello Ladies, noting that the gelding has won from both on and off the pace, and with inside trips or off the rail. "That kind of deal is something that a trainer really loves to see.

"I'm just going to tell Borel, 'Have a nice trip and try to get me a picture if you can.' "

The chief threat is Clear the Way, who was a close fifth in a $50,000 claiming race last out at Churchill. Trainer Steve Hobby has given the mount to Tim Doocy.