04/20/2013 1:40PM

Will Rogers Downs: Clem McFadden Memorial Route 66 attracts sharp field


Practically the entire field of seven older sprinters in Tuesday’s $50,000 Clem McFadden Memorial Route 66 Stakes at Will Rogers Downs is coming back quickly from a good performance.

Five horses who were either first or second within the past three weeks are wheeling back for the six-furlong open stakes, including recent restricted stakes winner Johnny Whip and old-timer Humble Smarty, a 17-time winner who returns to his best distance following a strong effort in a two-turn stakes at Oaklawn Park.

Johnny Whip returns two weeks after a two-length victory over 2-5 favorite Okie Ride in the TRAO Classic Sprint for Oklahoma-breds. The 4-year-old Johnny Whip owns a 4-for-5 record locally. The last time Johnny Whip was asked to race within 14 days of a victory, he finished second in a first-level allowance at Will Rogers Downs last May.

Okie Ride, a two-time winner in stakes for Oklahoma-breds last season, is eligible to move forward in his rematch with Johnny Whip while making his second start off a layoff. In three situations in which he made the second start of his form cycle in a sprint following an in-the-money finish, Okie Ridge posted a win and was beaten by only a neck.

The 9-year-old Humble Smarty held the lead for six furlongs before giving way to finish second in the 1 1/16-mile Arkansas Breeders’ on April 7. He should be much more in his comfort zone going six furlongs, where he is 12 for 41 lifetime.

The Texas-bred 6-year-old Solar Charge ships in for trainer Danny Pish just 12 days after finishing a distant third in the 6 1/2-furlong Premiere on opening night at Lone Star Park. Pish seldom brings a horse to Will Rogers, going just 1 for 6 the past five years, but he does do well with sprinters returning in less than 14 days following a top three finish (17 for 96) 18 percent. The last time Solar Charge came back on similar short rest, he finished fourth in the Thanksgiving Handicap at Fair Grounds.

Flat Black and Shaolin step up in class after good performances locally. Flat Black missed by a neck in a second-level optional $35,000 claimer on April 10. Shaolin looks for his third win at the meet since March 13 after posting back-to-back victories going 5 1/2 furlongs against $25,000 claimers and $10,000 starter allowance foes.