02/10/2010 12:00AM

Red-hot Splash of Roses takes a big jump


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Trainer Randy Morse has one goal for Splash of Roses in Thursday's ninth race at Oaklawn Park.

"I'd like for her to win again," he said.

Splash of Roses is chasing her sixth consecutive win in Thursday's second-level optional $40,000 claiming race for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles.

Splash of Roses enters off a more than four-length win in a $7,500 starter allowance at six furlongs. The race came in her first start of the year, on Jan. 22 at Oaklawn.

"I think she's sure better going further," Morse said. "I'd like to have run her back in another starter, going long, but there wasn't one in the [condition] book. This is going to be a step up from what she's been facing. But right now, she knows how to win."

Splash of Roses began her streak in a $7,500 conditioned claimer at a mile at Remington Park on Oct. 10. She proceeded to win three more route races at the track, a $7,500 conditioned claimer Oct. 31, a first-level allowance Nov. 15, and a $20,000 optional claimer Dec. 7.

On Thursday, Splash of Roses will break from post 8, under Cliff Berry. She could get a nice stalking trip behind Color Me Up, who draws the rail, and A.J.'s Love, who won three straight races wire-to-wire this past fall in Chicago.

"She'll do about whatever you want," Morse said of Splash of Roses. "We'll leave things up to Cliff."

Splash of Roses, a 4-year-old by Kafwain, races for Richard Hessee.

Color Me Up, who in May was second to Seattle Smooth in the Grade 2 Shuvee at Belmont, was third at this level in her last start Jan. 17. The race was her first out this year, and she stalked the pace to finish five lengths behind Martin's Bay, a stakes winner who shipped up from Fair Grounds.

D. Wayne Lukas trains Color Me Up for Briland Farm and has given the mount to Terry Thompson.

The eight-horse field also includes Return to Jewel, who closed for second to Martin's Bay in the allowance here Jan. 17. Quincy Hamilton has the mount for trainer Donnie Von Hemel.

* There is a $6,854 pick six carryover for Thursday.