03/09/2004 12:00AM

'Vagueness' geared for big year

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HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Cloakof Vagueness, who placed second or third in her three stakes starts last year, runs in the featured ninth race Thursday at Oaklawn Park to begin what should be a productive year.

The one-mile allowance, which has a $33,000 purse, is for fillies and mares who have never won three races. Others in the nine-horse field include She's a Rebel Too, whom Cloakof Vagueness will have to catch; Tamarack Bay; and Golden Reputashn.

Cloakof Vagueness is the class of the field, with $200,145 in earnings in just 10 career starts. She has tested stakes company in her last three outs and has represented herself well.

Cloakof Vagueness was second to Awesome Humor in the Grade 3, $100,000 Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks on Oct. 3; second to Beautiful Crazy in the $100,000 Hawthorne Oaks on Nov. 15; and third to Lead Story in the Grade 2 Fall City Handicap on Nov. 27.

Following the Fall City, she was sent to a farm in Florida.

"She got some time off over the winter," said Blackie Huffman, who trains Cloakof Vagueness. "She got a good rest, put on some weight, matured, and now it's time to get started."

Huffman has been pleased with how Cloakof Vagueness has been training at Oaklawn. In her final two works for her return, she went five furlongs in a bullet 1:00.20 on Feb. 28 and four furlongs in 47.80 seconds last Sunday.

Cloakof Vagueness, who is a half-sister to Dynameaux, a stakes winner of $280,645, is a tall, striking daughter of El Prado.

"She gets over the ground pretty easily," said Huffman, who has given the mount to leading rider John McKee.

A closer, Cloakof Vagueness will be coming for She's a Rebel Too, who will be making her first start around two turns Thursday, and her first with trainer David Vance. She's a Rebel Too's two wins from four starts have come wire to wire, one at Laurel and the other at Aqueduct.

In her most recent start, She's a Rebel Too was third in the $75,000 Jameela for statebreds at Laurel on Feb. 15. For her effort, she earned one of the field's highest last-out Beyer Speed Figures.

"She has plenty of speed," said Vance, who has given the mount to apprentice Justin Shepherd.

Michael Langford owns She's a Rebel Too, who is a 3-year-old daughter of Two Punch.

Tamarack Bay makes her third start back from a layoff. In her last out, she was fourth to a front-running winner in an optional claimer. Greta Kuntzweiler has the mount for trainer Grant Forster.