09/22/2001 12:00AM

'Launch' takes off in Emerald Necklace


NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - Mercer's Launch assumed command after a half-mile and won the $30,000 Emerald Necklace Stakes for 2-year-old Ohio-bred fillies by 1 3/4 lengths at Thistledown Saturday. Ohio Ann overcame an awkward start to get up for second, 1 1/4 lengths before Little Forest.

Owned by Scioto Farm Supply, trained by Jeffrey Williams, and ridden by Jason Eads, Mercer's Launch covered six furlongs in 1:12.74 over a fast racing strip and returned $5.60.