Updated on 09/17/2011 10:14AM

Red n'Gold wouldn't mind rain


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Sunday is a chance to take a breather. A day after Oaklawn Park was to have had Azeri, the 2002 Horse of the Year, and Medaglia d'Oro running in separate $500,000 stakes, there is just one feature, the $50,000 Bayakoa.

The 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares continues the Racing Festival of the South. It drew six entrants, some of whom might have been avoiding Azeri in the Apple Blossom.

Red n'Gold will be seeking her second stakes win at the meet. Major rival Majority Whip, who has placed in two stakes in her last two starts, flew in Thursday for trainer Elliott Walden.

Bob Holthus, who trains Red n'Gold, is always happy to hear about rain in the forecast when his horse is running. It appears Red n' Gold could get the wet track she likes on Sunday, with thunderstorms possible.

If not, she is rock solid in fair weather, too. In two starts at the meet, she defended her title in the $50,000 Pippin in the mud, then finished second to Bien Nicole in the Grade 3, $200,000 Oaklawn Breeders' Cup on a fast track.

"She's had a great season at Oaklawn Park," said Terry Thompson, regular rider on Red n'Gold.

So has Thompson. He was tied atop the standings with arch rival Jamie Theriot going into Friday's races , with 60 wins. This meet, the two riders have traded the lead 14 times.

Holthus has been a strong Thompson supporter all season, and Red n'Gold is one of a number of class horses the rider has been aboard for the barn. She has run some of her biggest races at Oaklawn, where she won her maiden a few years ago by 16 lengths, and last year was second in the Bayakoa.

"The key to her is getting her to relax," said Thompson. "When she can get a breather, she runs hard down the lane."

Majority Whip has been racing at Turfway Park. In her last two starts she hooked Seven Four Seven in stakes company, finishing second to her in the $50,000 Likely Exchange and third to her in the $50,000 Wintergreen. James Lopez has the mount on Majority Whip, who has won 4 of 20 starts and $204,143.

Others in the field include McKinney, a six-length allowance winner in her last start, and Mimi's Tizzy, a stakes winner on dirt and turf trained by Harold Williams.

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