01/29/2008 12:00AM

Rated Fiesty's camp appeals DQ


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Kristin Crawford, an authorized agent and assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen, on Sunday filed an appeal with the Arkansas Racing Commission challenging the Oaklawn Park board of stewards' decision to disqualify Rated Fiesty from first to third in last weekend's $50,000 Dixie Belle Stakes. Stewards said the case could be heard before the commission on Saturday.

Rated Fiesty and jockey Luis Quinonez led throughout and finished first by a neck in the six-furlong Dixie Belle, but after the race an objection against the winner concerning the stretch run was lodged by Chris Emigh, the rider of third-place finisher Palanka City, as well as by William Becker, the assistant to Terry Gestes, who trains the filly. The stewards also posted an inquiry into the Dixie Belle.

According to the chart of the race, Rated Fiesty came in nearing the eighth pole and Palanka City, who was racing along the rail, checked at that point. Following the inquiry, the stewards took down Rated Fiesty and placed runner-up Kadira first and Palanka City second. The stewards said Sunday they had no comment on the disqualification.

Rated Fiesty, the 3-5 favorite in the Dixie Belle, had won each of her three starts heading into the race, including the Grade 3 Kentucky Breeders' Cup against colts at Churchill Downs last May, for which she earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 102. The Dixie Belle was her first start since winning the Grade 3 Debutante at Churchill Downs on July 7. Rated Fiesty is owned by the Heiligbrodt Racing Stable and JMJ Racing Stable.

Going Wild to King Cotton

Bret Calhoun has a number of stakes-quality older sprinters in his barn this year, and will be sending Going Wild to Oaklawn for Saturday's $50,000 King Cotton. Going Wild will start as one of the top choices in the six-furlong race, which will also draw defending champ Semaphore Man, the sharp Junior College, and stakes winner Greeley's Conquest.

Calhoun feels Going Wild will benefit from the distance of the King Cotton after he closed well over 5 1/2 furlongs last out, when third by a length in the $100,000 Bonapaw at Fair Grounds on Dec. 22. Going Wild is co-owned by Jim Helzer, who also races the Calhoun-trained Euroears, the winner of the $100,000 Gaudin Memorial at Fair Grounds on Jan. 12.

"Mr. Helzer owns Euroears and Going Wild, and we definitely didn't want to run them together in [the Gaudin Memorial]," said Calhoun. "It was decided to run Euroears at Fair Grounds and to run Going Wild in this spot."

R.D. Hubbard is Helzer's partner in multiple stakes winner Going Wild. Calhoun said Cliff Berry would ride Going Wild.

Craig Lytel, stakes coordinator at Oaklawn, said he looks for a field of about eight for the King Cotton. Piratesonthelake, who won both the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Sprint and the Arlington Sprint Handicap last year at 3, had been considered for the race but likely will pass because suitable travel arrangements for the horse could not be made as of Tuesday morning, according to his trainer, Jim DiVito. He said the horse could come to Oaklawn for the $50,000 Hot Springs Stakes on March 22.

DiVito also said that West Coast Coach, a stakes winner who is 3 for 4 overall, is a candidate for the $50,000 Mountain Valley Stakes for 3-year-olds at six furlongs at Oaklawn Feb. 23.

Carson's Legacy, who won the $50,000 Dixieland at Oaklawn with a Beyer Figure of 91, is also being considered for the Mountain Valley, according to his trainer, Steve Asmussen.