11/09/2001 1:00AM

Indiana-breds featured Sunday stakes


ANDERSON, Ind. - The older generation of Indiana-breds get a chance to stretch their legs with a pair of $40,000-stakes at 1 1/16 miles, a distance at which few have experience.

The Gus Grissom Stakes for colts and geldings, and the Richmond Stakes for fillies and mares highlight the 12-race card. Both stakes are restricted to statebreds sired by registered Indiana stallions.

J D's Diamond heads the field of nine entered for the Gus Grissom, carded as the eighth race. A lightly raced son of Jog, 5-year-old J D's Diamond has posted a career mark of 5-3-2 from 16 starts. Trained by Richard Hughes Jr., J D's Diamond has been idle since capturing the William Henry Harrison Stakes at six furlongs here on Oct. 7. He rates the slight edge and has Eric Payne slated to ride from post 9.

Special Express, trained by Ray Stifano, has been a puzzler this year. He rattled off three straight victories here a year ago but has yet to find that form this year. Most recently, he was a dull 10th to the talented Red's Honor in the Brickyard Stakes on Oct. 21. This should be a spot he can show dramatic improvement. Mike Allen has the ride from post 3.

Bruce Balmer's undefeated Nightair puts her streak on the line when she faces seven others in the Richmond Stakes. A 4-year-old daughter of Radio Daze, Nightair won her maiden at first asking last season and returned this year to capture allowance races at six furlongs and a mile. She breaks from

post 2 with Cindy Noll to ride.

Heresyour Chickey, trained by Stanley Roberts, will try a route for the first time off a solid two-length win over open "money won" allowance company on Oct. 25 going six furlongs. Heresyour Chickey has 2 wins from 4 starts this year and could prove tough to catch on the front end. Bobby Walker Jr. has the ride.