04/05/2011 2:12PM

Oaklawn: Slew the Man, And Music Came switch surfaces

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HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Slew the Man and And Music Came will be making key surface changes Thursday for the ninth race at Oaklawn Park. Both horses will be getting back to dirt for the optional $50,000 claiming race at a mile, Slew the Man by way of the Tapeta surface at Golden Gate and And Music Came off a turf start at Sam Houston Race Park.

They are part of a nine-horse field for that one-mile race that is also open to allowance runners who have not won twice since Aug. 15.

Slew the Man has been based at Oaklawn since the middle of March, as he shipped in with his stakes-bound stablemates Sway Away and Smiling Tiger. The race Thursday will be Slew the Man’s first since finishing third in a Golden Gate allowance at a mile Jan. 28.

“I think he’s more effective on dirt,” said Jeff Bonde, who trains Slew the Man for Alan Klein and Philip Lebherz. “He just shows so much more in his training, in his works, and in his races. On synthetic, he gets on top of them and hangs. On dirt, he runs his race.

“He’s training excellent at Oaklawn.”

Slew the Man’s last two starts on dirt have been strong, as he won the Chinook Pass by three lengths at Emerald Downs, then was second by a half-length in the $53,000 Bull Dog at Fresno. He will break from post 9 on Thursday, under jockey Luis Quinonez.

“He’s a tactical horse,” said Bonde.

And Music Came set the pace and finished a close fourth in the Grade 3 Connally Cup Turf at Sam Houston in his last start Jan. 29. Prior to that, he had raced on dirt at Delta Downs, and was second in the $125,000 Delta Mile in November. And Music Came then won an allowance at the track in December.

“He likes grass too, but he’s won all of his races on dirt,” said Benard Chatters, who has given the mount to Israel Ocampo.

There is a good deal of speed in Thursday’s race, and it could set the table for Cryptolight. The winner of the $125,000 Mountaineer Mile in November, he was third at this level last out in a race won wire to wire by Suyeta. Terry Thompson has the mount for trainer Joe Martin.

Golden Euro, who won the $95,000 USA Stakes at Lone Star Park in his last start May 31, is out to win his fourth straight race. Joe Petalino has named Bryan McNeil to ride.