02/13/2003 1:00AM

See How She Runs returns


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - See How She Runs, who went from first-time starter to Grade 2 winner during the course of the Oaklawn Park meet last season, will make her 4-year-old debut Saturday in the $50,000 Pippin Stakes.

The 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares has drawn seven others, including defending champ Red n'Gold, and Eagle Lake, who is looking for her sixth consecutive win for leading trainer Cole Norman.

See How She Runs was perfect in four Oaklawn starts last season. She won her maiden at six furlongs Jan. 26, and then became a Grade 2 winner around two turns less than two months later when she captured the Fantasy over Lake Lady and Chamrousse.

Following the Oaklawn meet, See How She Runs went to Woodbine and won the Grade 1 Selene. She is a leading local hope for this year's Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap on April 5.

See How She Runs, who was given a break from racing after she finished second in the $75,000 Prairie Meadows Oaks on Sept. 2, has signaled her readiness to return to competition with a string of impressive works at Oaklawn.

"I think [her works] have been very good," said Donnie Von Hemel, who trains See How She Runs for Pin Oak Stable. "We've been pleased with the way she's been preparing for this outing."

One of See How She Runs's key drills came Feb. 4, when she worked five furlongs in a bullet 59.60 seconds. The second fastest work that morning went in 1:00.60. Don Pettinger has a return call on See How She Runs.

Terry Thompson, who won five races at Oaklawn on Wednesday, will ride Red n'Gold. Last year, she powered to a dominant win in the Pippin, and the season before she won her maiden here by more than 15 lengths.

"She runs very well here," said Bob Holthus, who trains Red n'Gold for Kenneth English and Alan Braun. "She's always liked this track."

Holthus added that if the rains forecast for Saturday materialize, it would benefit Red n'Gold.

Eagle Lake, who is a two-time winner on wet tracks, has a win streak that dates back to Aug. 29, when she won a $45,000 claiming race at Louisiana Downs. Her next win came in an optional claimer, and she has since won three restricted stakes in Texas. Jamie Theriot has the mount for owner Turf Express, Inc.

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