08/20/2002 11:00PM

Add Missme to Oklahoma Derby field


Missme, who has become a two-time stakes winner since changing his running style, has joined the lineup for the Grade 3, $250,000 Oklahoma Derby on Sunday, bringing the number of definite starters for the 1 1/8-mile race to six. There are also three horses considered possible for the race, which is the richest of the meet at Remington Park in Oklahoma City.

Missme will be shooting for his fourth straight win Sunday. He started his streak at Churchill Downs in May with an entry-level allowance win on turf. From there, he won the $60,000 Prairie Meadows Mile on dirt in June, then in his most recent start captured the $60,000 Ragaey Island on the Ellis Park turf July 20.

There was a time when Missme liked to press the pace. Now, he is content to close, and the change in tactics has helped him climb out of the claiming ranks, where he started twice over the winter.

"He's a one-run, sit-back kind of horse now," said Lynn Whiting, who trains Missme for Whippoorwill Farm. "He seems to have adapted and come forward."

Missme has also been flattered by his peers since his recent stakes wins. Cowboy Stuff, who was third to him in the Prairie Mile, returned to win stakes in his next two starts - the $75,000 Cyclone at Prairie Meadows and the $100,000 Round Table at Arlington - and will be going for three in a row in the Oklahoma Derby.

And then there is Entitlement, who one start after finishing second in the Ragaey Island won the $65,000 Lamplighter at Monmouth Park.

"The horses that he's been around went on and ran well, and that puts him in a positive light," said Whiting.

Calvin Borel has the mount in the Oklahoma Derby. Others definite for the race are Easyfromthegitgo, The Judge Sez Who, Premeditation, and Dusty Spike. Possibles are A.P. Five Hundred, Grey Beard, and Wishingitwas.

Velasquez to ride The Judge Sez Who

Cornelio Velasquez, who has a commanding lead in the rider standings at Calder Race Course in Miami, has picked up the mount on The Judge Sez Who for the Oklahoma Derby. The last time Velasquez rode The Judge Sez Who, he won a June allowance at Calder.

In his most recent start, The Judge Sez Who finished a troubled second to Wiseman's Ferry in the Grade 3, $600,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park. He was to fly to Remington Park on Thursday from his Calder base, said trainer Milton Wolfson.

"He's feeling good and should make a good showing," said the trainer, who had also considered running the colt in the Grade 3, $500,000 Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 2.

The Judge Sez Who has finished no worse than third in the five stakes in which he has started this year. He has won 6 of 15 career starts and $328,976 for owner Sez Who Racing Stable.

Wolfson said that with a good performance Sunday the colt could be pointed for either the Grade 2, $500,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 21, or the Grade 3, $400,000 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park on Oct. 5.

Oak Hall waits until October

Oak Hall, who was placed first in the $75,000 Evangeline Downs Mile on Saturday night following the disqualification of Compendium for interference, won't race again until Oct. 19 in the $60,000 Shiskabob Handicap at Louisiana Downs.

"We don't run him very often, every six or seven weeks," said Doyle Wardrop, who trains Oak Hall for Ena Ortego.

Before the Evangeline Mile, Oak Hall had last raced June 22, when he won the $30,000 Evangeline Downs Sprint Championship.

* The Louisiana Racing Commission has adopted the Association of Racing Commissioners International policy regarding erythropoietin, or Epogen, and is in the process of drawing up a directive to become the latest state to prohibit the possession and use of the substance. Epogen, which stimulates the production of red blood cells, will carry the most severe medication violation rating, Category 1.