02/15/2003 1:00AM

Will 'Beauty' bounce off big win?


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Explosive Beauty was such an overwhelming winner last month in the $50,000 Dixie Belle on opening day at Oaklawn Park, the obvious question has to be asked: Can she duplicate the effort when she starts Monday in the track's $50,000 Martha Washington?

"I hope she does," said Cole Norman, who trains Explosive Beauty. "Off a huge race like that you're always concerned about a bounce, [but] she seems to have come out of the race just fine, and had a good work this week.

"You just hope she can run like she did last time. If she does, she'll be hard to beat."

Explosive Beauty, who will face 10 other 3-year-old fillies in the six-furlong Martha Washington, settled in fifth early in the Dixie Belle, launched an explosive move on the turn, and went on to a 6 1/2-length win under Jamie Theriot.

Norman had just one word for her effort. "Impressive," he said. "She was going into [the race] so good, I expected a nice effort from her, but I was really pleased after. I knew she'd run her race, but when Theriot called on her, she hit a gear and really accelerated down the lane. She was powerful."

Explosive Beauty, wearing blinkers for the first time, covered the six-furlong distance of the Dixie Belle in 1:10.48. Theriot has the return call for the Martha Washington, a race which Explosive Beauty's dam, Beauty's Sake, won in 1994.

K.K. and Vilasini Jayaraman, who own Explosive Beauty, also raced Beauty's Sake.

The dominant win by Explosive Beauty last out did not scare away the competition. The field is deep and interesting, and among those entered include two imposing newcomers: Perfect Wave, fourth last out to Lady Tak in the $100,000 Tiffany Lass at Fair Grounds, and the undefeated Adopted Daughter.

Adopted Daughter will be making her first start since July when she won the $60,000 Prairie Meadows Gold Lassie. Before that race, she was a 6 1/2-length maiden winner at Keeneland. Trainer Ronny Werner has given the mount to Jon Court.

Shane Sellers will ride Perfect Wave, the speed from the rail who is perfect in two starts at six furlongs. In her most recent out, she set the pace before being overtaken in the one-mile Tiffany Lass. Since then, Perfect Wave has worked sharply for trainer Dallas Stewart.

Others of note in the Martha Washington include Semifinal, who has won 4 of 5 career starts; Hannah's Royalrock, runner-up last out in the Dixie Belle; and Fair Grounds shipper Run Sarah Run.

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