02/02/2010 12:00AM

One Smokin' Lady looks to stalk pace


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Oaklawn missed three straight cards last week due to freezing temperatures, but One Smokin' Lady can heat things back up Thursday in a third-level allowance sprint for fillies and mares that carries an optional claiming price of $50,000.

One Smokin' Lady is a solid choice in the race, which goes as the ninth, after missing by a nose last out in the $50,000 American Beauty here Jan. 16. She finished second but was disqualified and placed fourth after drifting in the six-furlong race. One Smokin' Lady was the favorite and set the pace in what was her first start since winning the $100,000 Inaugural at Presque Isle on May 8.

"She ran very well the first time out," said Tim Ritchey, who trains One Smokin' Lady. "The track was a little slow and a little deep, which was not conducive to a speed horse carrying its speed. But she got a little late the last part of the race. I think that race was probably a tougher race than this race, although you have one horse in there, Dress in Dubai, who ran a monster race last time."

Ritchey is hoping One Smokin' Lady will get a stalking trip behind Dress in Dubai, who wired a second-level allowance field for a Beyer Speed Figure of 97 in her last start Jan. 23, and perhaps Kiawah's Magic, another front-runner who is making her first start since June.

"There's a couple of speed horses, which I like, because I want to take her and sit her back off the pace a little bit if we can," Ritchey said.

"That's how I've been working her, breezing her, and she's doing quite well that way."

Abel Castellano Jr. has the mount on One Smokin' Lady, who drew post 6 in the field of eight. Dress in Dubai will break from gate 4, with Joe Johnson aboard for trainer Michael Trivigno.

Also on the card Thursday is a first-level optional claiming route for 3-year-olds that could produce a starter or two for the Grade 3, $250,000 Southwest on Feb. 15. The top contenders Thursday appear to be Brewer and Ricky Tick, who were second and third at a similar condition Jan. 16.

* There is a $1,105 pick-six carryover for Thursday.