08/03/2005 11:00PM

Good opportunity to topple Oh So Easy


The years 2003 and 2004 were banner ones for the Ohio-bred filly Oh So Easy, who racked up seven stakes wins, going short and long, on turf as well as dirt.

But the tide may be turning for Oh So Easy, who last month ran well below her best for the second time in her last three attempts in a statebred stakes. Rival horsemen, perhaps detecting vulnerability in the Ohio champion mare, needed no arm-twisting to fill the entry box for Saturday's $40,000 Ms. Southern Ohio Stakes at River Downs, which Oh So Easy will try to win for the second straight year.

When Oh So Easy won the Ms. Southern Ohio last year, she was the 4-5 favorite against six overmatched rivals. While she will likely go favored again, her price is unlikely to be as short, and she will need to beat as many as 11 rivals at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

The race, restricted to fillies that were both sired and bred in Ohio, has come up very competitive. In addition to Oh So Easy, who is attempting to rebound from a sixth-place finish in the Rose DeBartolo Memorial at Thistledown, the race has attracted a handful of other stakes winners.

One of the main contenders, Imahoneytoo, defeated Oh So Easy in the Bobbie Bricker Memorial at Beulah Park in October. The two have traded decisions since then, with Imahoneytoo coming out the better of the two in the DeBartolo. Imahoneytoo has less experience on turf than Oh So Easy, finishing second in her only start on the surface.

Misty Tab, 3, is the hot horse in the field, having won two stakes on the River Downs turf last month, the Cincinnatian and the Horizon.