03/25/2011 3:02PM

Oaklawn: Superior Storm shortens up for Carousel


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Superior Storm will be making a significant distance move on Sunday, when she cuts back to one turn for the first time in more than three years in the $75,000 Carousel at Oaklawn Park. The six-furlong race for fillies and mares drew a field of seven, including Gleaming, a recent allowance winner, and Simplify, who was stakes-placed last out at Fair Grounds.

Superior Storm has knocked out more than $1 million in earnings, with the bulk of her success coming in two-turn stakes for fillies and mares bred in Louisiana. But with no pressing stakes for her division until July, and a pair of runner-up finishes in her last two route attempts, the decision was made to shake things up and target the Carousel at her home base of Oaklawn.

“We thought we’d back her up and see what happens,” said Rick Jackson, who trains Superior Storm for Jac Mac Stables.

Jackson noted Superior Storm has been effective sprinting. She is a five-time winner at one turn, with three of those efforts coming in stakes restricted to Louisiana-breds. In her last sprint start, Superior Storm was second to older rivals in a Fair Grounds allowance on Nov. 16, 2008. The race served as her springboard to the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies a month later, which was one of seven route stakes she would win from that point to November 2010.

Luis Quinonez has the mount from post 6.

In the late stages, the pair figures to have to run down Gleaming and Simplify. Gleaming enters the Carousel off a 2 3/4-length win in an optional $50,000 claimer at Oaklawn on March 4. She tracked the pace one start after having a four-race win streak snapped when finishing ninth in the $50,000 American Beauty on Jan. 23.

“I think that race on the off track was a throw-out race,” Bret Calhoun, who trains Gleaming, said of the American Beauty. “She came back on a fast track last time and kind of redeemed herself and showed what she is. I think she’ll fit off that last effort.”

Cliff Berry has the mount on Gleaming, while Michael Baze will be aboard Simplify, who was third in the $58,000 Pan Zareta in her first start of the season Feb. 19. She stalked the pace in that race and one start earlier was prominent when she rolled to a four-length win in an optional $80,000 claiming race at Churchill Downs.

“She’s an older mare that runs her race,” said Steve Asmussen, who trains Simplify. “She doesn’t have to be on the lead.”

◗ Oaklawn on Thursday will begin offering a participation bonus on all overnight races that draw more than eight wagering interests. The track will add $1,000 to the purse for every horse that gives a race more than eight separate wagering interests, with a 12-horse field to have its purse increased by $4,000.