02/01/2013 4:14PM

Oaklawn Park: Tour Guide between Southwest and Risen Star for next start

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Tour Guide will race next in either the Southwest at Oaklawn or the Risen Star at Fair Grounds.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Tour Guide is a 3-year-old at a crossroads. He won his second straight sprint stakes last weekend, and his connections are now debating whether to stretch him out to two turns for either the Grade 3, $300,000 Southwest at Oaklawn on Feb. 18 or the Grade 2, $400,000 Risen Star at Fair Grounds on Feb. 23.

Tour Guide won the $48,000 Sugar Bowl at six furlongs at Fair Grounds in December, then took the $50,000 Allen’s Landing at seven furlongs at Sam Houston last Saturday. He has now won his last three starts in a streak dating back to a first-level allowance win at Churchill Downs.

“Tour Guide is back in New Orleans,” said Bret Calhoun, who trains the horse for Gary and Mary West. “I don’t really know where we’re going from here. We have a few options. If we’re going to take on the top horses, we could go to the Risen Star or Oaklawn’s next one, the Southwest.

“We’re in the early stages of talking about where we’re going to go next with him. As a horse who’s already won two stakes, it’s going to be a little more difficult to find races right now.”

Tour Guide is a son of Broken Vow. He has won 4 of 6 races overall.

Leyva on Rose to Gold

Jockey Juan Leyva, who won the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint on Musical Romance, has the mount on Rose to Gold in the $75,000 Martha Washington at Oaklawn on Saturday, Feb. 9, her trainer, Sal Santoro, said Friday. It will be the first time Leyva has ridden Rose to Gold in a race, but he had breezed the filly prior to her debut at Calder, Santoro said.

Rose to Gold, who won the Grade 3, $500,000 Delta Downs Princess under Paco Lopez in her last start Nov. 17, shipped in from Florida last week and will now be based at Oaklawn for the 3-year-old filly series that includes the Grade 3, $400,000 Fantasy on April 10. Santoro hopes to see the filly advance to the Kentucky Oaks.

“Juan rides for me at Calder,” he said. “Depending on what happens in the Martha Washington, he already told me he wants to go the rest of the way.”

Rose to Gold has won 3 of 4 starts. She is a daughter of Friends Lake.

Alternation moves closer to return

Alternation moved another step closer to his 5-year-old debut Thursday morning at Oaklawn when he breezed a half-mile in a bullet 48.40 seconds. He went in company, under jockey Luis Quinonez.

“He rated kindly and kind of lengthened out down the lane,” said Donnie Von Hemel, who trains the horse for Pin Oak Stable.

It was the third work back for Alternation. Von Hemel said depending on how the horse continues to progress and if the weather remains agreeable to his training schedule, Alternation could start his season in the Grade 3, $150,000 Razorback Handicap on March 9.

“That’s what we’re going to do if we’re ready,” he said.

Pin Oak and Von Hemel had an impressive 4-year-old filly winner Thursday at Oaklawn in Songs and Sonnets, who earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 91 for her win in a second-level allowance. She is by Unbridled’s Song and out of the mare Bedanken, a multiple Grade 3 winner of more than $500,000. The win Thursday was the first on dirt for Songs and Sonnets, whose previous two wins had been on the grass.

“It looks like she enjoys Oaklawn,” Von Hemel said Friday. “Bedanken was a better turf mare, but she did win two stakes here. It looks like to me [Songs and Sonnets] is pretty good on dirt.”

Von Hemel said given the affinity Songs and Sonnets showed for the local surface, this might be the track over which she could make her stakes debut.

◗ She’s All In, who was fourth in the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic, could make her next start in the $100,000 Bayakoa at Oaklawn on Feb. 16, Von Hemel said.