07/17/2003 11:00PM

Ericka's Lass must overcome post 12


WINNIPEG, Manitoba - For a while, it didn't look like Assiniboia Downs was ever going to fill a 2-year-old race.

Now, there's a field of 12 for Sunday's $35,000 Debutante Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. Even more amazing is that 10 of the 12 have already started at least once.

Ericka's Lass took the worst of it at the draw, getting post position 12 in the 5 1/2-furlong race.

Ericka's Lass, trained by Emile Corbel, is the 2-1 morning-line favorite but her chances of winning have certainly been lessened by her wide post. She has started twice this year and is one of only two winners in the field.

She was second, beaten 2 1/4 lengths, to the talented Miz Mitzie here June 28 going about three furlongs, and then came back to wire a field of maiden fillies going five furlongs on July 11.

If Ericka's Lass is unable to overcome her poor draw, there will be no shortage of contenders looking to take advantage.

Cassa Della, trained by Blair Miller, is a big, good-looking Fly So Free filly who finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length by Erika's Lass in her debut.

Twice Removed, trained by Clayton Gray, was working rapidly before her troubled debut.

Erin's Parade, trained by Ardell Sayler, was checked, steadied, and wide in her debut, for a $12,500 claiming price, and she still won.

Yogi's Connection, owned and trained by Clint Willson, is another who had a troubled debut.

Warmnfuzzyfeelin, also trained by Sayler, finished third in the Graduation Stakes against males.

Rounding out the field are Shy Lil, Mauriann, Julia's Diamond, Nimble Shank, Onewaytoheaven, and Terminal Moraine.