08/28/2008 11:00PM

Von Hemel sends three in Red Earth


Trainer Donnie Von Hemel is taking a three-tiered approach to the $50,000 Red Earth at Remington Park on Sunday. He will start defending champ Classic Actress in the 7 1/2-furlong turf race for 3-year-olds and up bred in Oklahoma, and will also send out Marq French, a sprint stakes winner who has won at two turns, and Notable Okie, a course specialist with a 6-for-11 turf mark at Remington.

Classic Actress, a filly, defeated males in the Red Earth last year when the race was for 3-year-olds. She is eligible for the race again because the 2008 running is open to 3-year-olds and up. Quincy Hamilton has the mount.

Marq French is stretching out from a series of sprint races for the Red Earth.

"He won at Oaklawn a couple of years ago going a mile and a sixteenth," Von Hemel said of the lone two-turn start made by Marq French. "No doubt his better races are sprinting, but the Okie-bred [condition] draws you in."

Marq French's sprint stakes wins include one over the Remington Park turf course, in last year's $50,000 Osage Hills. Von Hemel looks for the horse to be with the pace on the stretch-out Sunday. Cliff Berry has the mount.

Notable Okie, to be ridden by Don Pettinger, is making his first start since November in the Red Earth. He was third in a $50,000 optional claimer in his last start, and drilled a bullet the other morning in his final work for his return.

"I think he's ready to run a good race," said Von Hemel.