08/19/2004 11:00PM

Hamm prepared for any weather


Rain or shine, trainer Tim Hamm has his bases covered in Sunday's $45,000 Vivacious Handicap for Ohio-bred fillies and mares at River Downs. The Thistledown-based Hamm entered both his top 4-year-old, Oh So Easy, and his top 3-year-old, Barnsy, in the Vivacious.

Since jockey Ricardo Feliciano is named on both Oh So Easy and Barnsy, only one is likely to start. Oh So Easy, a winner on grass, is the more likely starter if the 1 1/16-mile Vivacious is run on turf as scheduled. It should be noted, however, that both fillies are superior dirt runners, and Barnsy, who has yet to run on grass, descends from the strong turf influence Danzig.

Regardless of who represents owner Destiny Farm and Hamm in the Vivacious, the opposition will face a serious racehorse. Oh So Easy has been one of the top fillies in Ohio the past two seasons, and enters the Vivacious off consecutive stakes victories, including the Ms. Southern Ohio here two weeks ago.

Barnsy captured the Queen City Oaks at River three weeks ago, cementing her position atop the 3-year-old filly division in Ohio. The Oaks was her second stakes win of the year and third straight win over fillies.

Bettors looking for value have a wide variety of choices. Rhythm in Shoes and Eyes the Duchess are proven commodities on grass, while Happy Endings Too is a stakes winner on the surface.

Glorado, Heavenly Jet, and Whitewater Way have all handled turf in the past, but none has seen more than the back of Oh So Easy in recent encounters.

Precocious, who gave Barnsy a brief scare in the Queen City Oaks despite having only one prior start, faces exclusion from the field due to her low career earnings, which stand at $21,300.