01/29/2010 12:00AM

Weather a worry for Quiet Thanks


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Quiet Thanks was a player in some of the key 3-year-old allowances last year at Oaklawn Park. Sunday, trainer Grant Forster will begin to assess where he fits as an older horse. Quiet Thanks will make his first start of the year in the eighth race, a first-level allowance at six furlongs that carries an optional claiming price of $17,500.

A field of eight will go, led by Yore, who was third at this condition in his most recent start. He is coupled with Pointing Home for Preston Stable and trainer Scooter Dickey.

Quiet Thanks made a bit of splash last year at Oaklawn. He ran third to the well-regarded Poltergeist in an allowance in January, third to another promising colt, His Greatness, in another allowance in February, then missed by a neck to yet another colt of quality, Golden Chapel, in an allowance in March. For his string of solid efforts, Quiet Thanks earned a shot at stakes company in the $75,000 Northern Spur at Oaklawn, and finished eighth to winner Dance Caller.

"He had the 12-hole going a mile here, and that's never a piece of cake," Forster said. "Obviously, we were [stepping up] in a stakes as well."

The Northern Spur, which was run on April 11, is the last start for Quiet Thanks. He has worked sharply for his return to Oaklawn, his home track. He races for the Arkansas-based Five Star Stables. Quiet Thanks has fired consecutive bullets, his latest a five-furlong move in 1:02.

"He's doing very well," Forster said. "We're ready to get his year started. We're anxious to see where he fits in as a 4-year-old."

Forster said one of his biggest concerns for Sunday is how the track condition might impact Quiet Thanks off the layoff. A winter mix of rain, sleet, and snow moved into the area on Friday, and if it lingers it could make for a laboring surface Sunday.

"I think we're at a disadvantage, depending on how the track is playing, coming off the long layoff," he said. "Up to this point, it's been a tiring track, and horses that have recency have had a distinct advantage."

Forster said he is pleased to have Corey Nakatani lined up to ride Quiet Thanks, who will break from post 5.

Yore came rolling after a slow start last time. Wade Rini will ride from post 2.