02/20/2007 1:00AM

Iftheshoefits, Slick Carson exit key races


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Iftheshoefits can become the fourth horse to exit a November race at Churchill Downs and win when he starts Thursday in the featured ninth race at Oaklawn Park. The first-level allowance is for older horses, and it will be run over six furlongs.

Actually, Iftheshoefits is one of two horses in the field coming out of a key race. Slick Carson seeks to become the third next-out winner to emerge from a November race at Remington Park. Other contenders in the field of seven Thursday include recent maiden winner Night Book.

Iftheshoefits was fourth in his last start, a $50,000 claiming race at six furlongs at Churchill on Nov. 11. The runner-up from the race, Parker B., returned to win his next two starts, earning back-to-back Beyer Speed Figures of 92.

Cielo Song, who finished third in the race at Churchill, came back in his next start to win a second-level allowance at Turfway Park with a Beyer of 86. International Cat, sixth in the race at Churchill, came back one start later and won a $30,000 claiming race at Mountaineer with a Beyer of 74.

All of this bodes well for Iftheshoefits, who was beaten just two lengths despite running farther back than usual in the key race.

"He did get shuffled back," said Jinks Fires, who trains Iftheshoefits. "He's usually just off the pace. He doesn't like that, way back. He's not particularly crazy about the dirt hitting him in the face."

Iftheshoefits could get a tracking trip just off of the quick Saalb, who drew the rail, and Dr. Rythym, who was a wire-to-wire maiden winner in his last start, Jan. 28. Iftheshoefits will break from post 3 under Larry Sterling Jr.

Iftheshoefits owns the field's highest last-race Beyer, an 81. He is a 4-year-old gelding by Minardi, and he was bred by Dr. Alex Harthill.

Slick Carson finished fifth, beaten 1 3/4 lengths, in a first-level allowance at Remington in his last start, Nov. 28. The fourth-place finisher from the race, Dad's Lessons, returned in his next start to win a first-level allowance at Sam Houston with a Beyer of 81. In addition, the seventh-place finisher, Red Thunder, won a $25,000 conditioned claimer at Oaklawn in his next start, with a 67 Beyer.

Kim Ewing trains Slick Carson, and has given the mount to Cliff Berry.