02/09/2007 1:00AM

Semaphore Man wires rivals


Semaphore Man proved much the best in the $50,000 Hot Springs Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Friday, when he rolled to a 3 1/2-length win over Level Playingfield. It was another three lengths back in third to Rodeo's Castle.

The Hot Springs was rescheduled for Friday after inclement weather caused the cancellation of racing on its original date, Feb. 3.

Semaphore Man ($8) broke sharply in the six-furlong race for older horses, leading the field through an opening quarter-mile of 22.38 seconds as High Adventure gave chase along the inside. Semaphore Man proceeded to cover the half-mile in 45.97, with his ears pricked. He went on to finish the distance over a track rated fast in 1:10.

Tim Doocy rode the winner for trainer Kelly Von Hemel and Double Bogey Stable.

Semaphore Man earned $30,000 for the win, which was his first in a stakes. He has now won 5 of 14 starts and $165,110. With the victory, Semaphore Man improved his Oaklawn record to 5 wins from 7 starts.

Semaphore Man is a 5-year-old gelding by Formal Gold. The win on Friday came in his first start since July.