05/14/2008 11:00PM

Von Hemel looks for stakes sweep


Marq French and Midsummer Magic will try giving trainer Donnie Von Hemel and jockey Don Pettinger a sweep of the two stakes for Oklahoma-breds at Will Rogers Downs near Tulsa on Saturday.

Marq French could go favored in the $35,000 Oklahoma Thorough-bred Association Classic, while Midsummer Magic might get a

perfect pace setup in the $35,000 Cherokee Casino Classic.

Both races are for statebred 3-year-old and up at six furlongs. The Cherokee Casino is restricted to fillies and mares.

Marq French won a stakes the last time he ran against Oklahoma-breds, in the $50,000 Osage Hills at Remington in October. He comes into Saturday off a fourth-place finish in the $50,000 Route 66 at Will Rogers on May 3. Marq French stalked the pace and closed well from an outside post, and could get a similar trip Saturday from post 9.

There appears to be an abundance of speed in the Cherokee Casino, which could set up a late run from Midsummer Magic. Midsummer Magic also won a stakes the last time she ran against Oklahoma-breds, in the $60,000 Oklahoma Classics Day Distaff at Remington in September.

Midsummer Magic could get a stalking trip behind Convincing Music, who has won her last three starts by a combined 16 lengths, as well as Reel Chrome, who drew the rail after setting the pace and finishing third last out in the $50,000 Wilma Mankiller at Will Rogers.