03/24/2010 11:00PM

Robin My Girl looks strongest


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - From just about every measuring stick, Robin My Girl looks like the horse to beat Friday in the $50,000 Natural State Breeders' at Oaklawn Park. The six-furlong race is for fillies and mares bred in Arkansas, and it will be the first of four statebred stakes to be decided over the weekend in Hot Springs.

Robin My Girl not only ranks as one of the winningest horses in the Natural State, but she also owns the field's best last-race Beyer Speed Figure. She put up a 78 in her last start, when she won a $12,500 claiming sprint by a clear margin at Fair Grounds on Feb. 8.

"I thought she ran a good race," said Tom Amoss, who trains Robin My Girl for Maggi Moss. "She was in control of the race throughout. It was the kind of race that makes you think you can move forward and try a spot like this."

Robin My Girl looks strong in a race in which most of her competition is stepping up from the statebred claiming ranks. She has been facing open company since last May and was claimed by Moss in January with the idea of pointing to the Natural State, Amoss said. Robin My Girl also has been flattered since her last start, with runner-up Day Trippi coming back to win a small stakes at Fonner Park with a 74 Beyer Figure. Robin My Girl will break from post 5 for her stakes appearance, under Calvin Borel.

"I think she's versatile," Amoss said. "She has good speed to do what you want. She doesn't have to be on the lead. She can be placed where you want to place her."

Robin My Girl, a 4-year-old who is 5 for 18, is the second-winningest horse in the field behind Flirtin' With Fire, a 7-year-old mare who is 11 for 60.

The program also includes a $40,000 optional claiming allowance sprint at six furlongs that marks the return of Nuclear Wayne. In his last start, he was fourth in the Grade 3 Hirsch Jacobs at Pimlico in May. Corey Nakatani has the mount for trainer Steve Asmussen.

* Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas will be the keynote speaker during the Arkansas Thoroughbred Breeders' and Horsemen's Association's annual banquet on Saturday night. It will be held at the Austin Hotel and Convention Center in Hot Springs.