11/28/2009 12:00AM

Stakes winners have eye on Oaklawn

Dustin Orona Photography
Pleasant Storm, winning the Oklahoma Classics Juvenile, will likely be asked to stretch out in one of the stakes for 3-year-olds at Oaklawn.

Pleasant Storm and Shotgun Gulch are both being considered for 3-year-old stakes at Oaklawn this coming year following their sharp stakes wins last weekend at Remington Park.

Pleasant Storm remained undefeated in two starts when he closed from 10th to win the $60,000 Oklahoma Classics Juvenile on Nov. 22. He covered six furlongs in 1:10.80, one start after winning a maiden special weight at the same trip Oct. 17. Both races were at a distance less than optimum for Pleasant Storm.

"He's definitely going to be all two turns," said Joe Petalino, who trains Pleasant Storm. "I'm looking to stretch him out."

Petalino said Pleasant Storm's first distance test could come at Oaklawn. The track's initial route stakes for 3-year-olds is on Jan. 18, with the running of the $100,000 Smarty Jones at a mile. From there, the stakes build to the Arkansas Derby.

Pleasant Storm races for his breeder, Vickie Fixley. He is a son of the Pleasant Colony stallion Pleasant Tap.

"He's so big," Petalino said of Pleasant Storm. "He's almost 18 hands tall. He's a big 2-year-old. He towers me on level ground. I've got to look up at his withers. And he's got such a big stride to him."

Shotgun Gulch picked up her second stakes win from four career starts in the $60,000 Oklahoma Classics Lassie on Nov. 22. Earlier in the meet, she defeated open company in the $50,000 E.L. Gaylord Memorial, also at Remington.

"I'm excited about her," said C.R. Trout, who bred, owns, and trains Shotgun Gulch. "I don't know yet what we're going to do with her. We're mapping out some options."

Trout said he would be pleased to see Shotgun Gulch develop into a candidate for Oaklawn's series for 3-year-old fillies. Before that program begins, he said she could get her first two-turn test in the $60,000 Genesis, a seven-furlong race at Delta Downs on Jan. 15. The other course of action, Trout said, would be to keep Shotgun Gulch at one turn for her next start, but run her at Oaklawn, in the $50,000 Dixie Belle at six furlongs on Jan. 15.

Shotgun Gulch closed from seventh to win the Lassie, a six-furlong race, in a sharp 1:10.20.

"She relaxes good," said Trout.

Shotgun Gulch, a daughter of Thunder Gulch, earned a career-best Beyer Figure of 80 for the Lassie.

Annie Savoy aims for Yellow Rose

Annie Savoy, a multiple stakes winner of more than $300,000 who is based at Remington, is being pointed for the $50,000 Yellow Rose at Sam Houston Race Park next Saturday, said her trainer, Kari Craddock. The horse won the six-furlong race for Texas-bred fillies and mares in 2007.

Annie Savoy's little brother, Hollywood Ice, made his stakes debut last week at Remington and was second in the Oklahoma Classics Juvenile. Prior to that race, he was the runner-up in a $75,000 optional claiming sprint, also at Remington.

"He'll get a little break now," Craddock said. "He's a June 2 baby. He's so young. He'll get a little 30-day letdown and we'll just try to pick a spot early in his 3-year-old year. I hope he's as good as his older sister."

Annie Savoy and Hollywood Ice are both by Langfuhr and out of the stakes-winning mare Miss Diamond Mine. The horses race for their breeder, Hal Browning.

Big stakes to close out Zia

Zia Park will close out its mixed meet Dec. 8, but before then there are two major Thoroughbred stakes to be decided. The $150,000 Zia Park Derby is on deck first. It will be run on Saturday, and among its chief players will be Red Lead, a recent allowance winner at Remington who earlier this year was second in the Grade 3 Lone Star Derby.

The $200,000 Zia Park Distance Championship for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles is set to be run next Sunday. Going Ballistic, a millionaire, and Orientate Express, a multiple stakes winner, are among those expected for the race. Both are based at Remington.

* Sam Houston drew 5,369 patrons for its opening night card Friday. Handle on the 10-race program from all sources was $939,728.

* Jockey David Alvarez sustained a laceration to his head when he was thrown from his mount in the fifth race Friday night at Lone Star Park.