03/02/2012 4:38PM

Oaklawn: On Fire Baby to get Lasix for Honeybee

Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
On Fire Baby, with Joe Johnson up, wins the Golden Rod.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – On Fire Baby, one of the top 3-year-old fillies in training, will race on Lasix for the first time in her career next Saturday, March 10, when she starts in the Grade 3, $125,000 Honeybee at Oaklawn Park.

The Honeybee will be On Fire Baby’s second start of the year. In her seasonal debut Jan. 16, she finished third against males in the $100,000 Smarty Jones at Oaklawn. Before that race, On Fire Baby won both the Grade 2 Pocahontas and Grade 2 Golden Rod at Churchill Downs.

“When I enter, she’ll run on Lasix,” Gary Hartlage, who trains On Fire Baby for Anita Cauley, said Friday. “We discussed it from the beginning of the year, and we were thinking about taking her and putting her on Lasix. But as long as she won, we weren’t going to do it. So when she got beat, we decided we were going to join the rest of them and put Lasix.

“In my opinion, I think Lasix helps a horse. There’s no reason to put a horse through bleeding if they don’t have to. I’m not saying she’s going to bleed, but we’re not going to take a chance she bleeds.”

In the state of Arkansas, as in many other racing jurisdictions, a horse no longer needs to show proof of pulmonary hemorrhaging, or bleeding, to be placed on the diuretic Lasix. Trainers and their veterinarians must instead request the horse be registered for the Lasix program through the commission veterinarian in Arkansas, which has been done for On Fire Baby, said Hartlage.

Hartlage said on Friday that On Fire Baby has worked twice on Lasix. Both were bullet five-furlong drills in 59.80 seconds, one on Feb. 6 and the other on Feb. 20. Joe Johnson, who was aboard for the works, has the mount in the Honeybee.

The Honeybee is also expected to draw Amie’s Dini, winner of the $75,000 Martha Washington at Oaklawn, and Silver Hustler, third in a first-level allowance route in her last start, in Hot Springs. Inca Miss, a multiple allowance winner, is possible for the Honeybee, said her trainer, Donnie Von Hemel. Nominations for the race were to close Friday.

The Honeybee will share a card with the Grade 3, $125,000 Razorback Handicap.

Shepherd injures ribs, shoulder

Jockey Justin Shepherd, 25, broke five ribs and a shoulder blade in a spill Thursday at Oaklawn, according to his brother, jockey Dusty Shepherd. Justin Shepherd was injured when his mount, El Oso, catastrophically broke down at the top of the stretch in the fifth race.

Dusty Shepherd said his brother stayed overnight at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hot Springs, and remained there as of Friday morning. He said his brother was in a good deal of pain.

“But he’s back to being him,” he said. “He’s doing good.”

Promising 3-year-old for Fires

Trainer Jinks Fires, who won last year’s Arkansas Derby with Archarcharch, unleashed an impressive 3-year-old debut winner here last week. Kid Sidney rallied from last to win a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight, with a Beyer Figure of 83. He has been nominated to the Grade 2, $500,000 Rebel on March 17, Fires said Friday. “I’m sure it’s going to come up awful tough, and it could overfill if it’s [anything like] the Southwest,” he said. “But we didn’t want to be out there holding a bag if the thing came up with a short field or something.”

Kid Sidney is a son of Lemon Drop Kid who races for PHWL Partnership.