03/08/2004 12:00AM

My Trusty Cat: Oaklawn BC next?


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - My Trusty Cat, an impressive allowance winner last month at Oaklawn, worked a bullet six furlongs in 1:13.20 on Sunday for a possible start in Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Oaklawn Breeders' Cup.

A 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares, the Oaklawn BC is expected to be headed by the Bob Baffert-trained Cat Fighter and is one of two major stakes here this weekend. The other is the Grade 3, $100,000 Razorback Handicap on Sunday.

My Trusty Cat added blinkers for her last start and rallied through the stretch for a two-length win in a six-furlong allowance race Feb. 19, covering the distance in 1:10. My Trusty Cat will be moving back to two turns if she goes in the Oaklawn BC, but she is already a two-turn stakes winner at Oaklawn, having won last year's Honeybee Stakes.

"I think she's a better two-turn horse, but with one-turn horses, she can keep up and has a big punch," said David Vance, who trains My Trusty Cat for Carl Pollard.

Overall, My Trusty Cat has earned $343,178.

The Oaklawn BC serves as a prep for the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap on April 3. Others considered probable for the race are Keys to the Heart, Drexel Monorail, and There Runs Hattie. Possibles include Spectacular Lisa, Handpainted, and Blue Guru.

Pie N Burger, a top contender for the Razorback, turned in a big work Sunday. He went five furlongs in 1:00.20 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.60. Also on the tab was Private Emblem, who went five furlongs in a bullet 59.20 seconds. In his last start, Private Emblem won the Grade 3 Essex Handicap over runner-up Pie N Burger.

Von Hemel sweeps weekend stakes

Trainer Donnie Von Hemel swept the weekend stakes at Oaklawn when Yoursmineours captured the $75,000 Honeybee for 3-year-old fillies Saturday, and Surf N Sand defeated a nice field of sprinters in the $50,000 Spring Fever on Sunday.

The stakes wins were the first for both horses. Yoursmineours will make her next start in one of two races, Von Hemel said. She is under consideration for the Grade 2, $200,000 Fantasy Stakes on April 9, and the $75,000 Instant Racing Breeders' Cup on April 10. Both are at Oaklawn.

Surf N Sand will most likely make her next start in the $50,000 Carousel at Oaklawn on March 27, said Von Hemel.

Stephan's Angel, who finished second in the Honeybee, is being pointed for the Fantasy, said her trainer, John Servis. Last year, Stephan's Angel won the Mom's Command Stakes at Aqueduct.

Emily Ring retired

Emily Ring, who finished fourth in the Spring Fever, has been retired, said her trainer, Blackie Huffman. She will ship to Kentucky later this week and will be bred to Grade 2 winner Tale of the Cat.

"She's been a good one, and we'll miss her," said Huffman.

Emily Ring won 8 of 33 starts and $363,125. She was a three-time stakes winner and is owned by Mike Anderson Thoroughbreds. Emily Ring is a 6-year-old daughter of Fit to Fight.

Huffman said Emily Ring came out of the Spring Fever in good order and will get a few days rest before heading to Kentucky.

Notables bypass Honeybee

Island Sand and Saltwater Runner, two stakes-winning 3-year-old fillies based at Oaklawn, bypassed the Honeybee in favor of other races. Island Sand, who has won her last three starts, is being pointed for the Fantasy.

Island Sand had been a candidate for the Honeybee but needed more time to recover from a recent van ride from New York, said her new trainer, Larry Jones. In her last start, Island Sand won the $84,000 Busanda at Aqueduct.

Saltwater Runner, who won the $50,000 Dixie Belle at six furlongs on opening day at Oaklawn, will remain sprinting, said her trainer, Bob Holthus.

Curious Conundrum to breed and run

Curious Conundrum, a stakes winner of $367,555, was to be bred to Grade 1 winner Street Cry on Sunday, said trainer Eugene Brajczewski Jr. The plan is to start her a few times this summer, then retire her to the farm by September. Brajczewski said that formula has been used with success in the past with stakes-winning mare Soul Onarazorsedge.

Plans for Cloakof Vagueness

Cloakof Vagueness, who was third to Lead Story in the Grade 2 Fall City Handicap at Churchill Downs in her last start Nov. 27, worked four furlongs in 47.40 seconds Sunday in preparation for her seasonal debut.

"She'd been in Florida, turned out, but is now getting close to running," said Huffman, who trains Cloakof Vagueness. "We gave her a little break after Churchill Downs, and she came back and is training real well."

Cloakof Vagueness is nominated to the Oaklawn BC and will also be considered for the $75,000 Bayakoa at Oaklawn on April 4.

* There is an $86,276 dpick six carryover for Wednesday.