03/31/2003 1:00AM

Roxelana back for campaign at 6


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Stakes-level horses usually run late on a race card, but that won't be the case Wednesday at Oaklawn Park, when graded winners Roxelana and See How She Runs meet in the $37,000 first race, a six-furlong allowance for fillies and mares.

Also in the five-horse field is Princess Jen, a stakes winner who scratched out of the $50,000 Carousel on Saturday in favor of this spot; Endless Hour, a half-sister to Oaklawn stakes winner Endless Parade; and Pretty Rocky.

On paper, the race could come down to the comebacking Roxelana having to hold off a stretch bid from See How She Runs, who is turning back in distance.

Roxelana will be making her first start since Nov. 27. She has been working sharply at Oaklawn for her trainer, Blackie Huffman.

"She was off in January," said Huffman. "I was up there in Kentucky, and the weather was bad so we gave her a month off."

Huffman had planned to run Roxelana earlier in the meet, but winter weather forced the cancellation of training on a few mornings at Oaklawn, and he has taken additional time to bring her back ready for her 6-year-old debut.

"She's tight enough," he said. "She's trained well since she's been here."

Roxelana won the first four starts of her career in 2000 by a combined 29 lengths, a run that culminated with an 11 3/4-length win in the Grade 3 La Troienne at Churchill Downs.

She was retired and bred to Carson City in 2001 but delivered prematurely in January 2002 and her foal died. After recovering, she was returned to Huffman's barn last spring. She has won two of her three starts since, including a $100,000 optional claimer at Churchill over Freefourracing on Nov. 8. She was second to Colonial Glitter in a Churchill allowance on Nov. 27.

Larry Melancon has the mount.

See How She Runs should be within striking distance of Roxelana early despite turning back from 1 1/16 miles. She has natural speed and has won two times at six furlongs, both coming last season at Oaklawn before she stretched out around two turns and won the track's Grade 2 Fantasy and the Grade 1 Selene at Woodbine.

See How She Runs showed good speed in her last start, when she pushed a quick pace in an allowance before finishing second. The race was her first start with blinkers.

Don Pettinger will ride for trainer Donnie Von Hemel.

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