03/01/2006 12:00AM

Werner has two leading ladies


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Trainer Ronny Werner's last three wins at Oaklawn Park have come with fillies, and on Friday he can add to that streak with Special Hunter and Cheyenne Spirit.

The fillies will start in the ninth and 10th races on the card, which are optional claimers for fillies and mares. Both are leading contenders.

is a candidate to control the pace in the ninth, which will be run at six furlongs. She won her maiden wire to wire at the Fair Grounds meet at Louisiana Downs on Jan. 5, and in her last start she was second by a neck when she set the pace in her first start against winners at Oaklawn on Feb. 12.

"She's pretty quick," said Werner. "She's a good-looking filly as well. She looks the part."

Special Hunter might be able to clear her rivals Friday, but if things look crowded on the front end, she should be able to take a different approach, said Werner.

"I think she will come from off of it if need be," he said. "She's relaxed well in her works."

Special Hunter's chief rivals include , a stakes-placed filly who is making her first start since Jan. 6. She has speed, and will break just inside of Special Hunter. Michael Stidham trains Parisparis and has given the mount to Robby Albarado.

In the 10th, Spirit will face seven others at one mile. In her last start, she was second by a neck to the well-regarded Last Toots in a two-other-than allowance at Oaklawn on Feb. 9. Werner has given the mount to Albarado.

Werner's last three winners at Oaklawn have been the fillies Better Vision, Ermine, and Gilded Rose.

Track boosts overnight purses

Oaklawn announced Wednesday that overnight purses at the track have been increased by $700 each, effective with Wednesday's card. The increase is largely attributed to an increase in handle on Instant Racing, a parimutuel game that plays like a slot machine. The machines are located on the first floor of the grandstand at Oaklawn.

* The $50,000 Vulcan Stakes will be run at Oaklawn on March 26, said racing secretary Pat Pope. The six-furlong race for registered 3-year-old Alabama-breds is typically held at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, said Pope. Because of Hurricane Katrina, an abbreviated version of the Fair Grounds meet was held late last year at Louisiana Downs.