03/09/2004 1:00AM

Tough-trip Shadowland eyes next


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Shadowland, who finished a troubled seventh in Sunday's $600,000 Louisiana Derby, is being pointed for the $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on April 10, trainer Ralph Nicks said.

Shadowland is one of two 3-year-olds Nicks trains for Team Valor. The other is Tiger Hunt, who is targeting the Grade 2, $500,000 Illinois Derby at Hawthorne on April 3.

Shadowland was advancing nicely on the second turn in the Louisiana Derby, then got stopped along the rail in the stretch when he hit traffic. The trouble was costly, Nicks said.

"I feel we would have run no worse than third," he said.

Shadowland came out of the race in good order, Nicks said. The colt, who was imported from England, has won two of four starts. One race before the Louisiana Derby, he finished second to Fire Slam in the Grade 3 Lecomte at Fair Grounds.

Shadowland was ridden by Pat Day in the Louisiana Derby, and Day will likely be aboard for the Arkansas Derby, Nicks said.

Shadowland is based at Oaklawn. So is Tiger Hunt, who was forced to miss a workout last week because he spiked a temperature. He was subsequently withdrawn from consideration for the $200,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn on March 20 and will point for the Illinois Derby.

"Tiger Hunt is back on his normal schedule," Nicks said. "He'll probably work Thursday or Friday. He's doing well."

Tiger Hunt last raced in October, when he finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He also finished second in the Grade 2 Lane's End Futurity, and won the $200,000 Cradle Stakes.

Colorful Tour shipping to Oaklawn

Colorful Tour, who won the Grade 3 Essex and Grade 3 Razorback handicaps last year at Oaklawn, is scheduled to ship to Hot Springs from Florida this week, said his owner and trainer, Noel Hickey.

Colorful Tour is one of about 10 horses Hickey is sending to Oaklawn to race for the remainder of the meet. He kept a stable in Hot Springs last year, but has since brought all of his horses to his farm in Florida.

Colorful Tour is on the comeback trail. He last raced in July, finishing fifth in the Grade 3 Cornhusker Breeders' Cup. Hickey said Colorful Tour came down with a virus, was given time to recover, and has since been training well. His first start back has yet to be determined.

"We'll play it by ear," Hickey said. "He likes the track there."

Colorful Tour won five straight races last year, a streak capped in the Razorback.

Weekend stakes taking shape

Cat Fighter, winner of the Grade 2 La Canada last out at Santa Anita, is one of eight early probables for the $200,000 Oaklawn Breeders' Cup on Sunday, according to track officials. The others are Keys to the Heart, Mayo on the Side, Spectacular Lisa, Drexel Monorail, My Trusty Cat, There Runs Hattie, and Took Out. Possibles include Handpainted and Golden Sonata.

For the $100,000 Razorback on Saturday, Pie N Burger is one of five early probables. Others are Crafty Shaw, Docent, No Comprende, and Sonic West. Possibles include Fourth Floor and River Mountain Rd. The Razorback is the final local prep for the Grade 2, $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap on April 3.

Mr. Jester ready for Rebel

Mr. Jester, one of the top 3-year-olds on the grounds, remains on deck for the Rebel after his five-furlong work last Sunday in good order. He went the distance in 1:01.20.

"We just tightened the screws a little bit," said Steve Wren, who trains Mr. Jester for Kaaren Biggs. Mr. Jester won the $1 million Delta Jackpot in December, and in his most recent start was a troubled second in the Grade 3 Risen Star at Fair Grounds.

* How popular is Chindi? Trainer Steve Hobby said the horse had six outside visitors last week, one of whom brought Chindi a fruit salad. Chindi, a 10-year-old stakes-winning sprinter known for his closing kick, is being considered for the $50,000 Hot Springs Stakes on March 21.

* Another horse pointing for that race is multiple stakes winner That Tat, who made a successful comeback from a three-month layoff late last month when he won a 5 1/2-furlong optional claimer in 1:03.83. Chindi finished second in the race.

* In Rome, winner of the $100,000 Bassinet Stakes last year at 2, has resumed training following a freshening and should be ready to run in late May or early June, Vance said.