02/07/2006 12:00AM

No need for Baghdaria to travel

Sunny Taylor/Coady Photography
Lawyer Ron, under John McKee, preps for the Feb. 20 Southwest Stakes by working six furlongs in a bullet 1:12.08 on Tuesday.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Baghdaria, who upset the previously unbeaten French Park last time out in Louisiana, is being pointed for the 3-year-old fillies series at Oaklawn Park.

According to trainer Bret Calhoun, Baghdaria will make her next start in the $50,000 Martha Washington at one mile on Feb. 19. From there, she will be pointed to the $75,000 Honeybee on March 25, and the Grade 2, $250,000 Fantasy on April 14.

Baghdaria at one point had been considered for a stakes in California. But she has settled in at Oaklawn since Jan. 27, and has worked twice over the track, her latest a five-furlong breeze in 1:01 last Sunday.

"They have a good series, so we'll stick with that route," Calhoun said Tuesday, referring to Oaklawn's stakes races. "She seems to have worked over the track very, very well. She seems to like the surface."

Baghdaria has won her last three starts, and came back in the stretch in the Grade 3, $250,000 Silverbulletday to overtake French Park, a Grade 2 winner, during the Fair Grounds meet at Louisiana Downs. Cliff Berry was aboard for that race, and will have the mount again in the Martha Washington.

In all, Baghdaria has won 3 of 5 starts and $206,240.

Happy Ticket eyes Apple Blossom

Grade 1 winner Happy Ticket was in town last week to run in an allowance, but when the race did not fill she worked here instead, breezing five furlongs in 1:01.24. She worked right after the renovation break on Sunday, and galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.68 under Robby Albarado.

The drill served two purposes. For one, it prepares Happy Ticket for her first start since the Breeders' Cup, the one-mile, $100,000 Louisiana Premier Night Distaff at Evangeline Downs on Feb. 18. It also gave her a chance to get familiar with Oaklawn, where she is scheduled to start in both the Grade 3, $175,000 Azeri Breeders' Cup on March 11, and the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap on April 8.

Happy Ticket took to the surface in Hot Springs, said her trainer, Andrew Leggio Jr.

"She couldn't have handled it any better," he said. "I talked to some trainers around here, and they said if a horse works three quarters in 1:15 on this track, a good horse, he's doing well."

Happy Ticket, who underwent throat surgery after finishing off the board in the BC Distaff, was scoped after her work Sunday.

"Everything looks wonderful, 100 percent," said Leggio. "Everything's on target."

Happy Ticket, who was to make her seasonal debut last month but was scratched from the Fair Grounds stakes when it rained, shipped back to her Louisiana Downs base Sunday. She worked right after Rockport Harbor turned in his final major prep for the Essex, going five furlongs in 1:00.92.

In all, more than 160 horses worked here Sunday. In addition to Happy Ticket, there was another Grade 1 winner on the tab. Round Pond breezed six furlongs in a bullet 1:13.09. She galloped out seven furlongs in 1:26.10 as she continues to train strongly toward the Azeri for trainer John Servis.

Lawyer Ron earns six-furlong bullet

In a work that showed his willingness and flaunted his fitness, Lawyer Ron drilled six furlongs in a bullet 1:12.08 here on Tuesday. He worked from the five-eighths pole back to the seven-eighths pole under regular rider John McKee.

"He hadn't run in about four weeks, so we wanted to get a good work in him, and he finished good," trainer Bob Holthus said.

Lawyer Ron was a romping winner of the Grade 3 Risen Star at Louisiana Downs on Jan. 14, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 106. In his work, he reeled off fractions of 23.55 seconds for the opening quarter, 35.81 for three furlongs, and 47.84 for a half-mile, then galloped out seven furlongs in 1:25.59.

Holthus said Lawyer Ron would likely work five furlongs next week as he continues his preparations for the $250,000 Southwest Stakes on Feb. 20.

* Thursday's eighth race could produce stakes starters at Oaklawn. A one-mile optional claiming race for 3-year-old fillies, the field is headed by the Dallas Stewart-trained Lemons Forever, who in her last start was second at a similar condition at Louisiana Downs. Lemons Forever earned a 78 Beyer for her effort, and will be ridden by Calvin Borel.

* Last Toots, who won her maiden and an allowance by a combined 23 3/4 lengths last year at Philadelphia Park before finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Comely, makes her second start off a layoff in the ninth. The two-other-than allowance is for fillies and mares at one mile.