11/20/2007 12:00AM

Falls City standout: Panty Raid

EmailLOUISVILLE, Ky. - Much has been said and written about the depth of the 3-year-old class of 2007. Curlin, Street Sense, and Hard Spun were sensational racehorses, but weren't their female counterparts pretty good, too?

Rags to Riches, the first filly to win the Belmont in more than a century, heads a 3-year-old filly class that also included such standouts as Octave, Lady Joanne, and Lear's Princess. The strength of that crop could show itself even more on Thursday when the Grade 2 Falls City Handicap is run for the 92nd time at Churchill Downs.

Typically a magnet for time-tested fillies and mares, this year's Falls City figures as the domain of 3-year-old fillies, as Panty Raid is one of three of that age who look capable of beating their elders in the traditional Thanksgiving Day feature at Churchill.

Panty Raid figures as a heavy favorite in a field of seven for the Falls City, a $300,000 race run at 1 1/8 miles on - and this might not mean much - the main track. Indeed, surface has mattered little to Panty Raid, a Kentucky-bred filly owned by the Glencrest Farm LLC.

From her last four starts, she has won graded races on three different kinds of tracks, taking the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan on the Pimlico dirt, the Grade 1 American Oaks on the Hollywood turf, and the Grade 1 Spinster on the Keeneland Polytrack.

Her jack-of-all-trades handiwork doesn't necessarily mean she is a master of none, but trainer Todd Pletcher couldn't find a precise fit for her at the Oct. 27 Breeders' Cup at Monmouth Park, so he elected to wait for the Falls City, which comes nearly seven weeks after the Spinster.

Panty Raid, with Garrett Gomez in from California to ride, will break from post 2 in the Falls City, which will go as the 11th of 12 Thursday races. First post is 11:30 a.m. Eastern, with the Falls City set for 4:24 p.m. and the last race going at 4:53.

Besides Panty Raid, the Falls City field also includes two other highly capable 3-year-olds: High Heels (post 4), a Grade 2 winner with a dangerous closing kick, and Tessa Blue (post 6),

a late bloomer who posted a

12 1/2-length victory in the Inside Information on Breeders' Cup weekend at Monmouth.

The elders in the Falls City lineup are Kettleoneup (post 1), Jill Indy Pulpit (post 3), Lampoon (post 5), and Delicate Dynamite (post 7).