Local Horses Dominate Oaklawn's Razorback Handicap

Edited release from Oaklawn Park
A showdown between four local horses appears likely in Sunday's $100,000 Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The 1 1/16-mile test for 4-year-olds and upward is a prep for the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap on April 5.

Irish Acres Farm's Colorful Tour, winner of the Essex Handicap, will be joined by Charles Cella's Crafty Shaw, Boyce & Ruffolo's Mc Mahon, and Team Valor's Windward Passage.

Likely favorite Colorful Tour is on a four-race winning streak, dating back to his win over Illinois-breds in the Demetri Boy Stakes at Hawthorne in early December. His most recent score, in the Essex Handicap, was by 1 1/2 lengths and over the toughest field he has faced to date. The Noel Hickey trainee has an enviable career mark of nine wins from 15 starts and earnings of $392,444 coming into the race.

Crafty Shaw, the Peter Vestal-conditioned 5-year-old, had a rough trip as the odds-on favorite in the Essex Handicap. He has won a stakes event at Oaklawn each of the last two years and will be attempting to add to his career earnings mark of $527,455 in this race.

Windward Passage has two of his three career wins at Oaklawn. He captured the Rebel here last spring and defeated a solid allowance field prepping for the Razorback in February. A third place finish in the 2002 Arkansas Derby is his only non-winning performance over the Oaklawn strip.

Trainer Don Von Hemel may opt to swing Mc Mahon into the Razorback off his big allowance win on March 7. The 5-year-old gelding by Salt Lake posted a four-length win in the allowance, getting a mile in the fastest time of the season, 1:36.4. The chestnut runner notched a win at 1 1/16 miles last summer in the Precisionist Handicap at Prairie Meadows.