03/03/2012 12:48PM

Oaklawn Park: On Fire Baby sharp in five-furlong work


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – On Fire Baby looked every bit the part of one the nation’s top 3-year-old fillies Saturday morning at Oaklawn Park, when she cruised five furlongs in 1:00.40. The move was the second-fastest of 42 at the distance, and it sets her up for a start in the Grade 3, $125,000 Honeybee on March 10.

On Fire Baby came onto the track right after the renovation break, and made her way to the indoor paddock on a sunny, chilly morning in which temperatures were in the 40s. After a ride through, she came back out on the track and continued warming up to the sixteenth pole.

On Fire Baby went into her work on the backside, with Oaklawn’s head clocker Jim Hamilton carrying her through fractions of 24.20 seconds for the opening quarter, 36.60 for three furlongs, 48.60 for the half-mile. She galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.20, and seven-eighths in 1:25.80. Joe Johnson sat chilly aboard On Fire Baby, who worked by herself Saturday.

“She’s ready to go,” said Gary Hartlage, who trains On Fire Baby for Anita Cauley. “She did everything right. It’s all you can ask.”

On Fire Baby will add Lasix for the Honeybee. She worked on the diuretic Saturday, and also in her previous two works on Feb. 6 and Feb. 20. On Fire Baby last raced on Jan. 16, and was third against males in the $100,000 Smarty Jones at Oaklawn. Prior to that start, she won a pair of Grade 2 stakes at Churchill Downs, the Golden Rod and the Pocahontas.

Also on the tab Saturday was Rocket Twenty One, the winner of the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Lassie last fall. She is being pointed for the Honeybee, her trainer, Tom Howard, said on Saturday. Rocket Twenty One worked five furlongs from the gate in company, going in 1:00.60. In her last start, she was third in the $50,000 Dixie Belle at Oaklawn in January.

Before the break, Scatman, the runner-up to Secret Circle in the second division of last month’s Grade 3, $250,000 Southwest at Oaklawn, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.60. He went by himself, under jockey Luis Quinonez.

Hamilton carried Scatman, a candidate for the Grade 2, $500,000 Rebel Stakes on March 17, through fractions of 13 seconds for the opening eighth of a mile, 26 seconds for the first quarter, 38.60 for three furlongs, and galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.40. His final quarter was in 23 seconds, according to Hamilton.

The track was fast on Saturday, with temperature about 38 degrees at the time of Scatman’s work. He was beaten just a half-length in the Southwest, and earned a career-high Beyer Figure of 101. Scatman, who races for his breeder, JEOG Racing, is trained by Mike Lauer.