03/30/2009 11:00PM

Proud Spell must sit out Apple Blossom


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Proud Spell will miss the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park on Saturday after her trainer, Larry Jones, discovered some swelling in her left hind ankle Monday night. She had been scheduled to have a key work for the race Tuesday morning, but instead was being prepared to ship later in the day to Jones's barn at Keeneland.

"We're hoping it's just an infection in there," Jones said. "She's got a little bit of a mark on her. Like I said, we're hoping it's just an infection because it's come up all at once.

"But we'll get her up to my barn at Keeneland, and that way if we need to run her up to the clinic we can."

Proud Spell, the winner of last year's Kentucky Oaks, was co-highweighted at 120 pounds with Acoma for the Apple Blossom. Acoma now figures to start as a heavy favorite for the 1 1/16-mile race, which along with the Grade 2, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap will open up the Racing Festival of the South.

Acoma won the Grade 3, $150,000 Azeri here March 8. Seventh Street, the runner-up in the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie, was scheduled to fly to town on Thursday and is probable for the Apple Blossom.

Superior Storm could go. Her trainer, Rick Jackson, said he was leaning toward a start in the Apple Blossom as of Tuesday, but would not make a final decision until entries are taken Thursday.

Superior Storm, a multiple stakes winner of more than $500,000, won an allowance March 12 over Proud Spell, who was making her first start since last September.

Jackson said that Superior Storm runs best with four or five weeks between races.

"That's the one thing I'm weighing right now, running back in three weeks," he said.

Magnum out of Oaklawn Cap

Honest Man looked sharp in his final prep for the Oaklawn Handicap on Tuesday, when he breezed five furlongs here in 1:01.40 for Jones. Clockers caught him galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.60. Honest Man will start as one of the top choices in the 1 1/8-mile Oaklawn.

The race lost a key player when Magnum did not make the ship from Southern California. His trainer, Darrell Vienna, said the horse popped a quarter crack on Monday.

"He had worked very well; it's just too bad," said Vienna.

Runforthedoe flew in from Southern California on Tuesday for the Oaklawn. Other probables include It's a Bird, who was to fly in Thursday from Miami.

'Rachel' work postponed

Rachel Alexandra was to breeze a half-mile here Tuesday, but her trainer, Hal Wiggins, decided to postpone the work until Wednesday after a morning rainstorm left the track sloppy.

Rachel Alexandra is a heavy favorite for the Grade 2, $250,000 Fantasy Stakes on Sunday.

Fufty Too heads feature

Fufty Too will shake the undefeated Everyday Heroes on Friday when he starts in a first-level optional $62,500 claiming sprint for 3-year-olds. His rivals include Kensei, who has not raced since finishing sixth in the Grade 2 Futurity at Belmont Park, and Slater's Peanuts, who has won his last three starts by 15 lengths for trainer Kenny Smith.

Fufty Too has turned in two strong races since adding blinkers. He won his maiden Feb. 13, then came back and finished second to Everyday Heroes in a first-level allowance March 13, earning a career-best Beyer of 92.

"He's an improving horse," said Mac Robertson, who trains Fufty Too.

Since the race, Everyday Heroes has won another allowance, with a Beyer of 84. Chris Emigh has the mount on the Fufty Too.

* Be Fair worked a bullet three furlongs from the gate in 35 seconds Tuesday, and is headed to the Gradeo1 Ashland at Keeneland, said her trainer, D. Wayne Lukas.

* The public is invited to the draw for the Apple Blossom and Oaklawn, which will be held at 11:15 a.m. on the first floor of the grandstand Thursday.

* The Budweiser Clydesdales are making appearances all week at Oaklawn.