02/10/2003 12:00AM

Violet Hill stretches her speed


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Trainer Blackie Huffman is not short on fast fillies this meet at Oaklawn Park.

He won the $50,000 American Beauty on Saturday with Emily Ring. He has the quick Roxelana in training here. And on Wednesday he hopes Violet Hill will carry her speed when she makes her two-turn debut in the featured eighth race, an entry-level allowance at one mile. The purse is $31,000.

Violet Hill, who faces seven other fillies and mares, won her maiden on the front end last March, dueling through quick fractions in a 7 1/2-furlong race at Churchill Downs. In her most recent start, she finished third in an entry-level allowance on Nov. 26, and has since trained well at Oaklawn.

"I've been waiting to run her two turns," said Huffman.

Violet Hill is a big, long-legged filly, and Huffman said the manner in which she has been training leads him to believe she will like two turns. Joe Johnson has the mount on Violet Hill, who is owned by William Landes III.

Huffman has won two races from six starts this meet, and both of his wins have come in feature races. His first was on Friday in a conditioned allowance with Diano, a win that had Huffman reminiscing about the last time he was stabled at Oaklawn, in 1990. That year, it was Diano's dam, Dynawite, who gave him his first win of the meet.

"His mother liked the track 11 or 12 years ago. She must have passed it on," Huffman quipped.

Huffman's other winner at the meet, Emily Ring, wired the field in the American Beauty. It was her third straight stakes win, and she is now being pointed for the $50,000 Spring Fever at Oaklawn. The 5 1/2-furlong race for fillies and mares will be run on March 9.

Roxelana, also a stakes-winning sprinter, was turned out for the month of January, but will run later in the meet. Huffman has the pleasant task of keeping separated her and Emily Ring, who both are front-runners. Roxelana, who has won two of her last three starts, races for Landes.

Extended race week

Oaklawn will race from Wednesday through Monday because of the Presidents Day holiday. There are two stakes planned, with the $50,000 Pippin on Saturday expected to draw defending champ Red 'n Gold, as well as Grade 2 Fantasy winner See How She Runs.

Among the 3-year-old fillies under consideration for the $50,000 Martha Washington on Monday are Explosive Beauty, winner of the $50,000 Dixie Belle on opening day.

- Sir Cherokee, who won an allowance Saturday in his first start since finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, is being pointed for the $75,000 Southwest on March 1.

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