08/02/2008 12:00AM

Miss Missile figures best in Oaks


The Manitoba Derby undercard features a trio of stakes events, headlined by Miss Missile putting her perfect Assiniboia Downs form on the line in the $50,000 Assiniboia Oaks over a mile.

Miss Missile is 3 for 3 at Assiniboia, all in stakes, and comes in off two easy front-running scores in her most recent starts.

Miss Missile destroyed a trio of 3-year-old fillies in the six-furlong Chantilly before beating the top older mares in the one-mile Canada Day.

In all, Miss Missile has won 8 of 18 starts and earned more than $286,667.

Elle Tish Slew is the lone shipper for the Oaks, and, although she only has a maiden score on her resume, she has run in three consecutive stakes at Arlington Park.

In all three races, Elle Tish Slew finished midpack when registering a pair of fourths and a fifth, and she'll require another filly to take some starch out of Miss Missile if she is to grab the top prize.

The $50,000 Debutante, run at 5 1/2 furlongs for 2-year old fillies, features seven maiden winners and the role of favorite could fall upon Canterbury shipper Lady Countdown.

Lady Countdown won her second start impressively in 59 seconds over five furlongs on July 5, and, although four of her foes also registered wire-to-wire victories, she appears to be the quickest.

Dreamin N Schemin, Paigee Pooh, and Muffin's Star all posted lengthy maiden scores at Assiniboia Downs and loom as the pace-pressers.

Classy Gem and Strollin both rallied from fifth, overcoming problems at the break, to win at first asking and could benefit from a hot early pace.

The one-mile, $30,000 Wheat City for older horses features a field of seven, and there appears to be no clear-cut choice.

Arthurlooksgood, winner of this race last year, Illusive Force, and Rage Till Dawn are past stakes winners, but they have yet to strut their best stuff in 2008.

Rage Till Dawn won a second-level optional $15,000 claiming race early in July, while Illusive Force ran a game second July 26 to the locally unbeaten Rock'n U S A.

The favorite may end up being Voorhee's Ballad as he makes just his second local start after closing to be third in a third-level optional $20,000 claiming tilt on July 15.

Voorhee's Ballad's past seven efforts at Woodbine, Calder, and Gulfstream have seen him routinely post Beyer Speed Figures in the 82 to 90 range, and a like effort would make him the one to beat in the Wheat City.