02/21/2006 12:00AM

Music School may go in Southwest


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - The undefeated Music School could make his stakes debut Saturday in the $250,000 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park, his trainer, Neil Howard, said Tuesday.

The one-mile race was to be run Monday, but a winter storm in the region forced the cancellation of live racing on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. A new date for the Southwest was set, and the race will be redrawn on Thursday.

Music School, who is closely related to the 2003 Horse of the Year, Mineshaft, is owned by the partnership of Will Farish, James Elkins Jr., and Temple Webber Jr.

"We've already discussed it, and it's a good possibility," Howard said of starting Music School in the Southwest.

Plans were to work the colt at his Oaklawn base on Wednesday.

"I'll probably breeze him just an easy half, in 49, 50 [seconds]," said Howard. "He worked the other day. We'll go from there."

Like Mineshaft, Music School is by A.P. Indy. He is out of the stakes-winning mare Delta Music, a half-sister to Mineshaft, the multiple Grade 1 winner who earned $2,283,402.

Robby Albarado will have the mount on Music School if he goes Saturday. He has been aboard the colt for both of his starts.

Music School overcame a bad stumble to win his debut in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race on June 11 at Churchill Downs. After the race, he was found to have a small bone chip in his left front ankle, and it was removed. Music School made his comeback at Oaklawn on Feb. 5, when, in his only other career start, he won a one-mile entry-level allowance in a strong time of 1:39.

Nine horses possible for Southwest

Music School would make for a field of nine in the Southwest. There were eight horses, led by Lawyer Ron, originally entered in the race, and all are expected to return Saturday.

Lawyer Ron galloped 1 1/2 miles on Tuesday, the first time horses at Oaklawn have been able to train since last Friday because of freezing temperatures. There was one worker on the tab for Tuesday.

Bob Holthus, who trains Lawyer Ron, has kept the colt active during his time away from the track. He walked the shed row under tack for one hour each of the three days the track was closed for training, then was hand-walked in the afternoon, said Holthus.

"He galloped good this morning, and I think he'll just gallop into the race," said Holthus.

Holthus also has stakes winner Red Raymond for the Southwest.

Steppenwolfer is also still a go for the Southwest, said his trainer, Dan Peitz. When originally entered in the race, Robby Albarado was named to ride the colt. But with Music School now considering the Southwest, Peitz said Steppenwolfer will likely be ridden by Corey Lanerie.

Steppenwolfer last raced on Feb. 3, and won a one-mile allowance at Oaklawn.

Others expected for the Southwest are Kingsfield, Sharp Attack, Mark of Success, Celluloid Hero, and Travelin Leroy.

My Trusty Cat bred to A.P. Indy

My Trusty Cat, the winner of last year's Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs, has been bred to A.P. Indy, said David Vance, who trained the filly for Carl Pollard.

In all, My Trusty Cat won eight races and earned $902,753. Her other notable stakes wins included the Grade 2 Honorable Miss, the Grade 3 Chicago Breeders' Cup, and the Honeybee at Oaklawn.

Vance said her finest moment came when she won the seven-furlong Humana Distaff.

"She won stakes going farther," he said, "but seven-eighths was by far her best distance. I miss her a lot."

My Trusty Cat was retired in October.

Precocious Kat goes for four in row

Precocious Kat will be looking for her fourth straight win on Thursday when she starts in the ninth race, a 1 1/16-mile optional claimer for fillies and mares. Jerry Calvin trains Precocious Kat, who began her win streak with an 11-length allowance win at Hawthorne in October. In her last start, the mare was a half-length winner at a similar level at Oaklawn.

Others of interest in the field include Sheer Luck, the runner-up in the Grade 3 Turfway Park Breeders' Cup on Sept. 17, and Last Toots, a multiple winner for trainer John Servis.

* Stewart Elliott, who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness on Smarty Jones, is the special guest for a question-and-answer session at Coy's Steakhouse in Hot Springs on Thursday night. Tim Ritchey, who trained Preakness and Belmont winner Afleet Alex, is tentatively set to appear at the restaurant on March 9.

* There is a $90,088 pick-six carryover at Oaklawn for Thursday.