03/24/2010 11:00PM

Palanka City is ready for a rematch


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Palanka City gets a rematch with One Smokin' Lady in the $50,000 Carousel at Oaklawn Park on Saturday, and she is a different horse since she was upset by that rival in her comeback race in February.

Since then, Palanka City has won an allowance by more than seven lengths in a performance that should send her to post as the favorite when she defends her title in the Carousel.

The race is for fillies and mares at six furlongs, and it is one of two stakes on the card. The $50,000 Rainbow Miss is for 3-year-old fillies bred in Arkansas.

Last month, Palanka City was the 4-5 favorite in the $58,000 Spring Fever at Oaklawn, returning after a layoff of more than 10 months. She broke through the starting gate before the 5 1/2-furlong race. After setting the pace from her rail post, she finished second, four lengths behind One Smokin' Lady.

"She was off so long, she was a little too keyed up," trainer Scott Becker said of Palanka City's race in the Spring Fever. "I probably had her too keyed up for the race."

Palanka City looked like her old self one start later, when she tracked the pace then drew off in an Oaklawn allowance sprint March 7. For the effort, she earned a Beyer Figure of 97. Palanka City will break from post 7 on Saturday, under regular rider Chris Emigh.

"I look for her to lay a little bit off the pace," Becker said. "She'll be running in a relaxed style after a couple of races in her."

One Smokin' Lady earned a Beyer of 94 for her effort in the Spring Fever, which was her last start. She is picking up a little added ground Saturday.

"I like her going six," said Tim Ritchey, who trains One Smokin' Lady. "We just need to sit off the pace a little bit with her. I think the first couple of times she ran [here] she had no target and I think she wants something to kind of sit at, and a target to run at."

One Smokin' Lady set the pace in the $50,000 American Beauty at Oaklawn on Jan. 16 and finished second by a nose. One start later, she was second in an allowance before her track and attack win in the Spring Fever. Luis Quinonez has the mount on One Smokin' Lady.

Adding depth to the Carousel field is Double Espresso, the winner of the $56,000 Pan Zareta at Fair Grounds in her last start Feb. 20.

Rated Fiesty, a Grade 3 winner, will be making her first start since February 2009, when she finished second to Palanka City in the Spring Fever.

In the six-furlong Rainbow Miss, Enticing Girl looks to be a solid favorite from her sweeping four-length win over statebred fillies and mares in a first-level allowance at Oaklawn on Feb. 28. She earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 70, which is the best career number of the nine starters in the Rainbow Miss.

"She ran really, really well," Ritchey said. "She's a nice filly. I think if she runs back to that race, or even a little bit less than that race, I think she still has a big, big shot in there.

"She breezed well the other day, is training well coming into the race, and I expect a big effort."

Abel Castellano Jr. has the return call on Enticing Girl.