04/04/2013 5:08PM

Oaklawn Park: Tour Guide racing for Calumet in Bachelor

Coady Photography
Tour Guide will be seeking his fourth straight win and his third career stakes win in the Bachelor.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Tour Guide will make his first start for Calumet Farm on Saturday in the $75,000 Bachelor for 3-year-olds at Oaklawn Park. His recent purchase fills a void for Calumet, which has a leading Kentucky Derby prospect in Oxbow.

“We didn’t have a 3-year-old sprinter, or horse that we thought would run short,” said D. Wayne Lukas, the primary trainer for Calumet. “We think this horse could be a really nice miler, and we’ve seen nothing to dispel that notion. At this point, we think we made a really nice buy, and we’re very, very happy with him.”

Tour Guide, a long-term candidate for the Grade 3, $175,000 Derby Trial at a mile at Churchill Downs on April 27, is part of a competitive eight-horse field for the Bachelor, which will be run over six furlongs. He will vie for favoritism with King Henny in a race that also drew Officer Alex, winner of last year’s Pennsylvania Nursery at Parx Racing, and Bobcat Jim, a promising runner for the Dream Walkin Farms operation of country music artist Toby Keith.

Tour Guide will be seeking his fourth straight win and his third career stakes win behind the Sugar Bowl at Fair Grounds in December and the Allen’s Landing at Sam Houston in his last start Jan. 26. He was given time off to recover from a shin issue, and during that period was sold privately to Calumet and shipped to Lukas at Oaklawn.

“He really has flourished,” Lukas said of Tour Guide, who has worked sharply for the Bachelor.

Jon Court has the mount on Tour Guide.

Bobcat Jim comes into the Bachelor off a dominant first-level allowance win at Oaklawn on Feb. 18. He led throughout and equaled his best Beyer Speed Figure, an 86, the same number he earned for winning a maiden special weight in his debut last July at Delaware Park.

“He’s a real nice horse,” trainer Kenny Smith said.

The allowance win at Oaklawn was the horse’s first start since Sept. 2, when he ran fourth in the Grade 3 Sapling at Monmouth.

“He shinbucked in the Sapling,” Smith said.

Bobcat Jim was given time off, then returned in the allowance. He will break from post 2 in the Bachelor, under Shane Laviolette.

“He’s a horse with a tremendous amount of speed,” Smith said, “but truly, truly, I look for him to lay off the pace a little bit because we’ve been working with him and he seems to take it real well.”

Smith last week swept both stakes at Oaklawn, the Rainbow and the Rainbow Miss, a pair of six-furlong races for 3-year-olds bred in Arkansas.

King Henny will be seeking the fourth stakes win of his young career in the Bachelor. Ricardo Santana Jr. has the mount for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Options expand for Titletown Five

The options Titletown Five has for his next start have expanded. Lukas said Thursday that in addition to the Derby Trial, the horse will be considered for the Grade 3, $750,000 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne and the Grade 3, $200,000 Lexington at Keeneland, both on April 20.

“One of those three will be his next start,” said Lukas, who added a decision would be made after he assesses the Kentucky Derby preps the next two Saturdays.

Lukas said he is deciphering the best means to springboard the horse to the Preakness.

◗ The infield will be open Saturday.