03/26/2007 11:00PM

Pooletta's trainer has hot hand


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Pooletta will have to beat All in With Aces to win the eighth race Thursday at Oaklawn Park, but she has momentum in her corner heading into the second-level allowance for fillies and mares. Pooletta is from the barn of trainer Ronny Werner, who last week won with 4 of 7 starters at Oaklawn. During that time, he also won races at Fair Grounds.

"We had a great couple of days," said Werner. "We won six in two days, and ran some close seconds. It's been fun."

Werner went 4 for 4 with his starters last Thursday, with a triple at Oaklawn and a win at Fair Grounds. On Friday he won with his next Oaklawn starter, and on the same day won the Fair Grounds feature with Rich Fantasy and finished second in another race there.

Pooletta comes into Thursday's 5 1/2-furlong sprint off a fourth-place finish in an optional claimer at Fair Grounds on Feb. 23. She closed from sixth in that race. One start earlier, Pooletta set the pace and finished third, beaten a half-length, in an optional claimer at Oaklawn on Jan. 26. Luis Quinonez will ride Pooletta, a 4-year-old by Hennessy who last November won a first-level allowance at Churchill Downs.

All in With Aces returned from a 4 1/2-month layoff and ran a big second to Morethanaprincess in a second-level allowance March 15. She has a nice stalking style, and could track Gleaming Elegance, Emma Grace, and perhaps Pooletta.

All in With Aces closed out her season last year with a first-level allowance win at Delaware Park. Trainer Larry Jones has given the mount to Terry Thompson.

Another contender is Smart Wildcat, who was second by three-quarters of a length last out in a $100,000 optional claimer for 3-year-old fillies. She earned a Beyer Figure of 79, which is the highest last-race number in the field. Larry Sterling Jr. has the mount for trainer Jeffery Lynn.

o Gstaad, a son of Storm Cat and the Grade 1 winner Cash Run, will make his North American debut in the ninth race, a $50,000 optional claimer at six furlongs. He won his maiden over 20 other colts in a five-furlong race at the Curragh in Ireland in his last start, Sept. 16. Gstaad will be making his first start for Jayeff B Stables and D. Wayne Lukas.