11/05/2003 1:00AM

Ladies Night to boost cancer group


ANDERSON, Ind. - Ladies Night returns to Hoosier Park for the third year on Saturday with a cast of 12 female jockeys competing in five races to raise awareness for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

The night will start out with a handicapping seminar featuring TVG personalities Caton Bredar and Priscilla Hojiwala beginning at 5:15 p.m. Eastern in the grandstand. The first 500 women in attendance will receive a free copy of Betsy Berns's "A Female Fan Guide to Thoroughbred Racing." All women 18 and older will receive free admission and a $2 wagering voucher. A portion of the night's sales of soft drinks will go to benefit the Komen Foundation.

The 12 riders will compete for points throughout the series of five races. The races are basic racecard fare, including maiden claiming, open claiming, and conditioned-claiming events. One of the races is an open $6,250 scaled claiming race for horses trained by women. To encourage participation, each trainer starting a horse in the Female Jockey Challenge races will receive a $100 bonus.

Riders coming in for the event include Jane Magrell of Thistledown, Maureen Andrews from Mountaineer Park, Deirdre Panas from Texas and Oklahoma, Mary Doser and Julie Fritz from Great Lakes Downs, Cindy Medina from Fairmount Park, Greta Kuntzweiler from the Kentucky circuit, and Jessica Endres and Shelly Moran from Beulah Park. The local female contingent is made up of Beth Butler, Bonnie Castaneda, and Rhonda Collins, the winner of the first two challenges.

Past participants have included Cindy Noll, Hoosier Park's all-time leading female rider, and Patricia Cooksey, a breast cancer survivor. Cooksey has not ridden since being injured in a spill on April 12, and Noll is expecting a child and not currently riding.

The Female Jockey Challenge begins with the fourth race for horses with female trainers. Okie I Am, trained by Kim Hammond, should be slightly favored off a victory at this level in early October. Mary Doser has the mount.

The challenge runs through the eighth race, concluding with a $5,000 claimer in which I P O Dude will look for his second consecutive win with Shelly Moran aboard.