04/04/2007 12:00AM

Fantasy gets top fillies from both coasts


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - The Racing Festival of the South traditionally lures horses from around the country to Oaklawn, and when it opens on Friday with the Grade 2, $250,000 Fantasy, shippers from the East and West will be prominent in the entries. Grade 1 winner Cash Included is here from California, and Cotton Blossom has flown in from Florida.

They are the chief players in the Fantasy, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies that serves as the first of nine stakes to be run here over the final six days of the meet. Others in the eight-horse field include High Heels, third last year in the Grade 2 Golden Rod at Churchill; Swift Temper, fourth in the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss at Gulfstream; and Time's Mistress and Devil House, stakes winners at Oaklawn.

Cash Included, winner of the Grade 1 Oak Leaf last September, has made two starts this year. She was fourth in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes on Feb. 10, and third in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks in her last start March 11. Both races were won by the nation's top-ranked 3-year-old filly, Rags to Riches.

"She just ran into a monster, basically," said Craig Dollase, who trains Cash Included. "So, we figured this is a good spot to kind of get her confidence back. We're obviously going to have to face Rags to Riches on [Kentucky] Oaks Day, so hopefully we'll have the upper end on her, getting another race into us and doing a little traveling with her."

Cash Included will break from post 3, and figures to be prominent under Alex Solis.

Cotton Blossom last raced on March 17, and was a two-length winner of the $200,000 Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs. The race was her first start of the year following a third-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies last November.

"I think she could be in a nice stalking position," said Todd Pletcher, who trains Cotton Blossom for Dogwood Stable.

Pletcher said a good performance Friday would send Cotton Blossom to the Kentucky Oaks.

Time's Mistress won the Fantasy prep, the $100,000 Honeybee, with a Beyer Figure of 88, the highest last-race number in the field Friday.