03/22/2013 3:39PM

Oaklawn Park: Jan’s Perfect Star no sure thing


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – On paper, Jan’s Perfect Star is the favorite in Sunday’s $60,000 Arkansas Breeders’ at Oaklawn Park on the strength of a 12-length maiden win for which she earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 89.

In reality, she’s not definite to start.

Trainer Randy Morse said Friday that he is debating whether or not to run Jan’s Perfect Star in the 1 1/16-mile stakes for Arkansas-bred fillies and mares and is discussing the situation with owner Dave Clark. Morse said a decision likely will not be made until the required scratch time for a stakes, which is 45 minutes before post time at Oaklawn.

“It will probably be a last-minute decision,” said Morse.

Morse said he is monitoring the weather forecast for Sunday, and how it might impact the track condition. The surface was muddy for works Friday morning and sloppy for racing in the afternoon. There was more rain forecast for Saturday, but less in the outlook for Sunday.

“If the track is playing against speed, we definitely won’t run her,” Morse said.

Morse said there are also other variables to debate, such as the fact that Jan’s Perfect Star will be spotting each of her rivals nine pounds in what will be both her stakes and two-turn debut, as well as her first start against winners. Jan’s Perfect Star took a maiden special weight for Arkansas-breds Feb. 7, then was forced to scratch from a first-level allowance after cramping up, Morse noted, in what was meant to be her stepping-stone to the Arkansas Breeders.

“If it was a flat mile, it would be a lot less of a decision,” he said.

Jan’s Perfect Star is a candidate to wire the field if she runs Sunday. As for the two-turn test, her sire, Imperialism, was a Grade 2 winner at a mile. Her dam, Perfect Exchange, was a sprint winner. Alex Birzer has the mount from post 7.

Kathleen, who was the runner-up in the $60,000 Downthedustyroad won by multiple stakes winner All About Allie, could start as the favorite if Jan’s Perfect Star scratches. Luis Quinonez has the mount for Sanders Brothers and trainer David Whited.

The Arkansas Breeders’ is the first of three straight stakes for Arkansas-breds to be run over the next week at Oaklawn. The races complement the Arkansas Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Horsemen’s Association’s annual banquet, which will be held Friday night, March 29, at the Clarion on the Lake in Hot Springs, Ark. The keynote speaker will be Oaklawn’s announcer, Frank Mirahmadi.

Actionontwo, a two-time allowance winner last season at Woodbine, will be honored as the 2012 Arkansas-bred of the year. She was bred by McDowell Farm, which will be honored as the breeder of the year. Storm and a Half, who stands at McDowell, is to receive the award for 2012 stallion of the year, while the broodmare of the year is Timeless Dreamer.

Tickets to the banquet are $40, and reservations must be made by Monday through the breeders’ and horsemen’s association office, located outside the stable gate at Oaklawn.