03/02/2005 1:00AM

Promontory tackles two turns

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HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - It's a Derby-driven world right now. Even though there are two strong allowances on the Oaklawn Park card Friday, the one with the smaller purse might be of greater interest because it features a couple of promising 3-year-olds making their first starts around two turns. In the ninth, Promontory and Extra Exclusive, each impressive winners at the meet, stretch out around two turns against a field that includes the stakes-placed Silver Haze.

The purse for the ninth, a 1 1/16-mile race, is $34,000, a grand less than the $35,000 purse for the eighth, a one-mile allowance for fillies and mares that drew 10, including Pilfer, Platinum Ballet, and She's a Rebel Too.

The ninth is for horses who have never won three races. Promontory makes his two-turn debut after winning an entry-level allowance at six furlongs Feb. 12. After the race, trainer Donnie Von Hemel said the next goal was to test Promontory around two turns, and he began shopping for a race at Oaklawn.

"If he can stretch out, there are a lot of opportunities," said Von Hemel.

won his debut in a 4 1/2-furlong race at Woodbine last May, and in his second career start Jan. 29 he was second to Extra Exclusive in an entry-level allowance at Oaklawn. One start later, in the Feb. 12 allowance, he stalked the leaders and drove clear to win.

Promontory is a son of Peaks and Valleys and is a half-brother to El Cielo, a multiple Grade 3 winner of $724,729. Don Pettinger has the mount for Pin Oak Stables.

Extra Exclusive last raced Feb. 17 and finished fifth in a six-furlong allowance won by Smoke Smoke Smoke, who is set to run Saturday in the $50,000 Mountain Valley Stakes at Oaklawn. Before that race, Extra Exclusive won an entry-level allowance at Oaklawn and a maiden race at Sam Houston Race Park.

is a son of Awesome Again and Prominent Feather, a stakes winner of $270,446. Calvin Borel has the mount for trainer Eddie Milligan.

is proven around two turns, having won an off-the-turf allowance at one mile at Fair Grounds on Dec. 9. He went on to finish fourth in the Grade 3 Lecomte on Jan. 15. Cliff Berry has the mount on Silver Haze for trainer Steve Wren.

In the eighth race, She's a Rebel Too stretches back out around two turns after setting a strong pace in a six-furlong allowance in her last start, and she could take the field a long way on the lead. Calvin Borel has the mount for trainer Randy Morse.