03/06/2013 6:01PM

Oaklawn Park: Alternation faces nine in Razorback

Renee Torbit/Coady Photography
Alternation the Razorback and the Grade 2, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap in 2012.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Alternation will launch his 5-year-old season Saturday at Oaklawn Park, when he breaks from post 10 in the Grade 3, $150,000 Razorback Handicap. He was one of 10 horses entered in the mile-and-a-sixteenth race drawn Wednesday. The field also includes Atigun, making his second start back since finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon, and Donoharm, a winner of his last five starts including two stakes this meet at Oaklawn.

Alternation won three local stakes in 2012, including the Razorback and the Grade 2, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap. He would go on to surpass $1 million in career earnings during a campaign in which he also won the Grade 3 Pimlico Special. Saturday’s race will be Alternation’s first since October, when he finished sixth as the favorite in the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup.

“We just needed to give him a little rest and let him get ready for this year,” said Donnie Von Hemel, who trains Alternation for Pin Oak Stable.

As for Alternation’s 2013 objectives, Von Hemel said: “I think at this point, we want to get going then see where he takes us.”

Luis Quinonez has the mount on Alternation, the 119-pound highweight. The field for the Razorback, from the rail, is: Golden Ron, Ramon Vazquez; Atigun, Victor Lebron; Cyber Secret, Robby Albarado; Donoharm, Cliff Berry; Ride the Lightning, Ricardo Santana Jr.; Raison d’Etat, Eddie Martin Jr.; Najjaar, Terry Thompson; Brethren, Mike Smith; San Pablo, Chris DeCarlo; and Alternation.

The Razorback will share the card with the Grade 3, $150,000 Honeybee for 3-year-old fillies at a mile and a sixteenth. The Honeybee field, from the rail, is Flash Forward, Albarado; American Sugar, Alex Birzer; Rose to Gold, Calvin Borel; Awsome Mama, Vazquez; Sittin At the Bar, Mark Guidry; Broken Spell, Jon Court; Sister Ginger, Santana; Flashy Gray, Smith; and Liberty Girl, Quinonez.