Pie N Burger Steps Up to the Plate in Razorback

Pie N Burger, the runner-up to Private Emblem in the Essex Handicap (gr. III) on Feb. 21, weighs in as the 119-pound highweight for Sunday's Razorback Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park. The 1 1/16-miles race is a prep race for the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. I) at 1 1/8 miles on April 3. The third- and fourth-place finishers in the Essex also return in the Razorback.

Pie N Burger will concede from two to seven pounds to his eight rivals in the Razorback. The Essex Handicap was the first effort of the year for the Kagele Brothers and James Bailey's 6-year-old. Trained by Cole Norman, Pie N Burger is a chestnut gelding by Twining out of the Topsider mare Abara. He was bred in Kentucky by Helen C. Alexander.

Claimed for $100,000 in 2002, Pie N Burger won five of seven starts last year and earned $373,800. His last effort of the season came with a one-length score in the Seabiscuit Handicap on the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships undercard. He will be ridden by Jamie Theriot.

His biggest competition will likely come from local legend Crafty Shaw, who will be making his 13th career start at Oaklawn Park. A son of Crafty Prospector out of Her She Shawklit, by Air Forbes Won, Crafty Shaw was third in the Essex, four lengths behind Pie N Burger. Prior to that, he won a Feb. 1 allowance race.

Last year, Crafty Shaw was beaten a neck in the Razorback before running fourth behind Medaglia d'Oro in the Oaklawn Handicap. Crafty Shaw is owned by Charles J. Cella, the owner of Oaklawn Park, and is trained by Pete Vestal.

Arlene Daney's Docent, a 6-year-old gelding by Waquiot, was fourth in the Essex, a head back of Crafty Shaw, and returns in the Razorback. Trained by Tim Ritchey, Docent has won 11 stakes including back-to-back Maryland Million Classic Stakes in 2002 and 2003 in his native Maryland. He missed by a nose to Crafty Shaw in that early-season allowance race.

Razorback Handicap (gr. III), 1 1/16 miles, $100,000, 4-year-olds and up, Sunday, March 14

PP, Horse, Wgt., Jockey
1, Fourth Floor, 112, Tim Toocy
2, Pie N Burger, 119, Jamie Theriot
3, Sonic West, 113, Willie Martinez
4, Cowboy Stuff, 113, Terry Thompson
5, Crafty Shaw, 117, Craig Perret
6, Dusty Spike, 114, Monte Clifton Berry
7, Maysville Slew, 112, Cindy Sue Noll
8, No Comprende, 114, Carlos H. Marquez Jr.
9, Docent, 115, Don Pettinger