02/28/2005 12:00AM

Souris red-hot in region's sprint stakes

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Jeff Coady/Coady Photography
Souris takes Saturday's Spring Fever for her fourth straight stakes win.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Souris has developed into arguably the best female sprinter in the Southwest. She picked up her fourth straight stakes win Saturday in the $50,000 Spring Fever at Oaklawn, and earned a career-best Beyer Figure of 106.

The win followed consecutive scores in the $55,000 Bold Ego at Sunland Park, the $50,000 American Beauty at Oaklawn, and the $60,000 Pan Zareta at Fair Grounds.

Souris has won 7 of her last 11 starts, and seems to have stepped up her game over the past few months. Her last four stakes wins have come by a combined 10 1/2 lengths, and she has earned a triple-digit Beyer Figure in each of her last three starts.

"She's a 5-year-old now, and she's faster than she's ever been," said Steve Asmussen, who trains Souris.

Asmussen said Sunday that Souris was to return to Fair Grounds to prepare for a possible start in Oaklawn's $50,000 Carousel, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares on April 2. He won the race last year with Eternal Cup.

Asmussen put blinkers back on Souris four starts ago and she has not lost since. Asmussen had taken them off for a Sunland allowance on Dec. 11.

"She had gotten left the race before, so I thought if I took the blinkers off she would be better in the gate," he said.

Souris finished third in the race, and Asmussen said he decided to put the equipment back on for the 5 1/2-furlong Bold Ego, which she won in a sharp 1:03.

In all, Souris, who races races for Nelson Bunker Hunt, is an eight-time stakes winner of $623,406.

Jazzy Gallop pointing for Rebel

Asmussen, who has won with 11 of 35 starters at Oaklawn to rank second in the standings to Cole Norman, has been on a stakes tear in Hot Springs. He has won 4 of the first 9 stakes offered, and as of Sunday he planned to run Razor, winner of the $50,000 Dixieland at Oaklawn, in the $50,000 Mountain Valley for 3-year-olds at six furlongs on Saturday.

Roman Chapa, who has been aboard all of Asmussen's stakes winners this meet, has the mount on Razor.

Asmussen has another 3-year-old for an upcoming stakes at Oaklawn. He said Jazzy Gallop, who has won his last two starts, is being pointed for the Grade 3, $250,000 Rebel Stakes on March 19.

Jazzy Gallop will be tackling a field expected to include Grade 1 winner Afleet Alex and Grade 2 winners Rockport Harbor and Greater Good.

Asmussen knows how tough the Rebel is shaping up, but he also likes how Jazzy Gallop, a son of Victory Gallop, has developed this winter at Fair Grounds.

"He's not coming in with credentials," Asmussen said. But, he added, "I think he's going the right way in a big way."

Jazzy Gallop won his maiden on Jan. 29 and an entry-level allowance on Feb. 18. Both races were run at the 1 1/16-mile distance of the Rebel, and Jazzy Gallop won them by a combined 9 1/2 lengths, earning an 85 Beyer Figure each time.

Jazzy Gallop races for Bob and Cathy Zollars, who were partners in Private Emblem, winner of the 2002 Arkansas Derby, and Easyfromthe-gitgo, winner of the Iowa Derby. Both horses were trained by Asmussen.

Maysville Slew retired

Maysville Slew, who won 10 stakes and $1,046,409 in his career, has been retired, said his owner and trainer, C.R. Trout. Maysville Slew, a 9-year-old gelding, has been living at Trout's farm in Edmond, Okla., since November.

"He could race, but seeing how much he enjoys farm life I wouldn't want to race him again," said Trout. "He's so happy where he is."

Trout said one of Maysville Slew's most memorable wins was his score in the $200,000 Dallas Turf Cup last May, which pushed him over the $1 million mark.

Maysville Slew won his maiden at Oaklawn in 1999, and a year later he won the track's Grade 3 Essex. He is the latest millionaire to retire to a farm in Oklahoma. Others who reside in the state are Clever Trevor, Silver Goblin, Mr Ross, and the mare Bien Nicole.

* Runway Model worked five furlongs in 59.80 seconds Sunday in preparation for her seasonal debut, which is to come in the Grade 2, $300,000 Fair Grounds Oaks on March 12. She galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.25.

* The pick six carryover for Wednesday is $8,340.