10/01/2003 12:00AM

Emerald's top runner in for Oaks


ANDERSON, Ind. - The 12-horse field for Friday's Grade 3, $300,000 Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks is the largest in the race's history and may also be the deepest.

Among the entrants is Youcan'ttakeme, who invades from the Pacific Northwest and is riding a four-race win streak, and Awesome Humor and Souris, both of whom are looking to end runner-up streaks but are proven against top stakes company. The 1 1/16-mile Oaks opens Hoosier Park's biggest weekend of racing, which includes the Grade 3, $400,000 Indiana Derby on Saturday.

Youcan'ttakeme comes to Indiana after being voted horse of the meet honors at the recently concluded Emerald Downs meet. Trained by Grant Forster, Youcan'ttakeme has won at distances ranging from 6 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/8 miles during her streak, and her average winning margin is slightly less than six lengths. She will get her first taste of graded stakes company Friday night. Regular rider Gary Baze will be aboard from post 7.

Awesome Humor is trying to regain the luster of her sensational 2-year-old season, when she won all four of her starts, capped off by a victory in the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga. She has won only 1 of 5 starts this season but has run off three straight seconds against graded company in the Delaware Oaks, Alabama Stakes, and Turfway Park Breeders, Cup. Elliott Walden trains Awesome Humor, who will be ridden by Robby Albarado from post 6.

Souris has finished second in her last four races. She overcame a bad start to rally for second, beaten a neck, in the Pennsylvania Oaks on Labor Day. Trainer Steve Asmussen trains Souris, who will have Corey Lanerie aboard from post 11. Souris brings a mark of 3-5-3 from 13 starts and earnings of nearly $300,000 into Friday's race.

Youcan'ttakeme has the speed to take this field wire to wire but will likely have to contend with pace company from Saratoga Humor and Golden Marlin to her inside. A strong pace would work to the advantage of a stalker like Souris, who does her best work from off the pace.

The field from the rail out: Saratoga Humor, Golden Marlin, Sue's Good News, Cloakof Vagueness, Awesome Humor; Youcan'ttakeme; Double Scoop, Harbor Blues,Star of Atticus, Souris; and Shot Gun Favorite.