02/22/2006 1:00AM

Southwest field gets two more


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - With the Wednesday commitments of both Music School and Kings Challenge to Saturday's $250,000 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park, the field of probables for the race has grown to 10.

The one-mile Southwest was originally set for Monday and had eight entrants, but when a winter storm forced the cancellation of the card, the Southwest was postponed. It was to be redrawn Thursday.

Music School breezed a half-mile in 49.64 seconds over a muddy track Wednesday at Oaklawn. He worked at about 7:30 a.m. under regular exercise rider Annie Finney and galloped out five furlongs in 1:03.50.

"It was just a little leg-stretcher going into the race," said Neil Howard, who trains Music School. "He went nice."

A close relative of 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft, Music School will be making his stakes debut in the Southwest after winning both of his career starts. He will be ridden by Robby Albarado.

Stewart Elliott has the mount on Kings Challenge, said trainer Bob Holthus. In his last start, Kings Challenge was third to Southwest probable Steppenwolfer in a one-mile allowance.

Kings Challenge is one of three starters Holthus will have in the Southwest. He also has stakes winner Red Raymond and favorite Lawyer Ron. Lawyer Ron will race for the estate of James T. Hines Jr. in the Southwest following Hines's death earlier this week.

Lawyer Ron comes into the Southwest off an 8 1/4-length win in the Grade 3, $250,000 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds meet at Louisiana Downs on Jan. 14. He has since trained strongly and galloped here Wednesday.

"He just had a nice open gallop, about a mile and three-quarters," said Holthus, who has given the mount to John McKee.

Others considered probable for the Southwest are Mark of Success, the runner-up in the Risen Star for trainer Dallas Stewart; Kingsfield, winner of the off-the-turf Black Gold at the Fair Grounds meet for trainer Thad Keller; and Travelin Leroy, a stakes-placed colt who races for Michael Gill and is trained by Gammy Vazquez.

Celluloid Hero, winner of the $50,000 Dixieland at Oaklawn, is also probable for trainer Mac Robertson, as is Sharp Attack, who last year was fourth in the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity for trainer Wayne Lukas.

The Southwest is the first of two local preps for the Grade 2, $1 million Arkansas Derby.