02/03/2012 4:23PM

Oaklawn: Bargain buy Kate's Main Man back from extended vacation


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Kate’s Main Man, a $35,000 claim at Oaklawn Park in 2010 who pushed past $500,000 in earnings last season, makes his return Sunday in the featured eighth race. The optional $50,000 claiming race at a mile drew seven older horses, including Omniscient, the probable favorite off a close fourth in the $125,000 Delta Downs Mile. Kate’s Main Man, who was named the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association’s claimer of the year for 2010, races for Randy Patterson and is trained by Randy Morse. The men claimed the horse out of a February 2010 race and took him to Prairie Meadows, where he won a pair of stakes for horses bred in Iowa.

Kate’s Main Man returned to Oaklawn last season and won the $100,000 Essex. Sunday’s race will be his first since August. He was freshened after finishing fifth in the $94,000 Ralph Hayes at Prairie Meadows.

“We ran him pretty hard here last year and then in Iowa,” Morse said of the reason for the layoff. “He hadn’t raced since Iowa.

“He’s training well.”

Morse has given the mount to Calvin Borel, who was aboard for the 2011 score in the Essex. Overall, Kate’s Main Man has won 12 of 47 starts and $530,880. He is a 7-year-old by the Storm Cat stallion Bernstein.

Omniscient shows some forward works at Oaklawn for his first start since November, when he was beaten two lengths by Kentucky Derby alum Decisive Moment in the Delta Mile. The Beyer Figure of 90 that Omniscient earned is the best last-race number in the field Sunday. Luis Quinonez has the mount for owner-trainer Steve Asmussen.

Kick On comes into Sunday’s race off a flashy work. He went a half-mile in a bullet 46.60 seconds Feb. 1 at Oaklawn. He will be making his first start since August for Baccari Racing Stable and trainer Joe Petalino.

◗ There is one other high-end race on the card. St. Louis City and Top It Up, who are both stakes-placed, return to the overnight ranks for the second, a first-level optional $75,000 claimer for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs. St. Louis City was second in the $50,000 Gowell at Turfway in December, while Top It Up ran second in the $50,000 Bird of Pay at Northlands Park in August.

The field also includes Cosmopolitan, a half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner California Flag, and multiple Grade 3 winner Cambiocorsa.

There is a special early post of 1 p.m. Central on Sunday, because of the Super Bowl.