11/12/2004 1:00AM

Fierce Cat formidable


Multiple stakes winner Fierce Cat looms as a short-priced favorite when he faces seven other Ohio-bred 2-year-olds in the $40,000 Ohio Freshman Stakes at Beulah Park.

Fierce Cat made a strong middle move and went on to score a half-length win in the 1 1/16-mile Best of Ohio Juvenile at Thistledown on Oct. 9 in his most recent start.

Fierce Cat was an easy winner of the Loyalty Stakes at six furlongs in September. Overall, Fierce Cat sports a record of 3-2-0 from 8 starts, good for $79,200 in earnings for owner-breeder Tim Napier and trainer Bill Napier.

Perry Ouzts rides Fierce Cat, who carries high weight of 122 pounds in the one-mile race. Fierce Cat figures to stalk the pace in this speed-filled event in which most of the other starters are stretching out off sprint races. No other starter in the Freshman has more than one career win.

Brooks Blach, who finished second behind Fierce Cat in the Loyalty and was fourth in the Best of Ohio Juvenile, may complete the exacta.

In his most recent start, Brooks Blach was a gate-to-wire winner in a six-furlong maiden special weight event on Oct. 28. Beulah's leading rider, Marco Ccamaque, picks up the mount on Brooks Blach for trainer Jeff Thornbury.

Circulator tries two turns for the first time after scoring an impressive 14-length debut victory against statebred maiden special weight company at six furlongs on Oct. 22.

Trainer Dougie Cowans has given Hector Rosario Jr. a return call aboard Circulator.