08/25/2006 11:00PM

'Okie' should do fine on turf


Okie Time, already a winner around one turn and two, should go favored Monday when he makes his turf debut in the $50,000 Red Earth Derby at Remington Park.

To be run at 7 1/2 furlongs, the Red Earth is restricted to 3-year-olds bred in Oklahoma.

Okie Time will be making his first start against statebreds after launching his career at Oaklawn. He won his debut in a six-furlong maiden race in February, and in his most recent start won the $79,000 Iowa Stallion Stakes at Prairie Meadows around two turns.

His connections feel he will take to the turf.

"We've worked him over it twice now since we've been [at Remington] and he's handled it very well, so I don't see the turf as being any problem," said his trainer, Kelly Von Hemel.

Okie Time also gets pedigree support for turf as his sire, Mutakddim, was a stakes winner on the grass and his dam, Oh Boy Valoy, has produced four turf winners including That Tat.

Okie Time should get a nice pace to track with a couple of entrants stretching out around two turns Monday.

"I think he'll be stalking," said Von Hemel. "Every time we've run him a route, he lays just a little bit off the pace, so I'd say we'd be two to four lengths behind, depending on the pace situation."

Tim Doocy has the mount for the Richter Family Trust.

The chief threat is the filly Hosanna Hit, who moves back to turf following a second-place finish last out in the $50,000 Ponca City at six furlongs at Remington. The last time she raced on the grass she was second by a neck in a first-level allowance at a mile on July 14. Cliff Berry has the mount for trainer C.R. Trout.

* Sweepingly lowered the track record for five furlongs on dirt by a second and a half Friday night, when he won a starter allowance in 55.70 seconds. The previous mark was set by Highland Ice in 1999.