02/23/2004 12:00AM

Much in Cherylville's favor


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Cherylville Slew's company lines have become more meaningful since entries for Wednesday's featured ninth race at Oaklawn Park were taken on Saturday. Later that afternoon, Spectacular Lisa won the $100,000 Chou Croute at Fair Grounds.

It was good news for Cherylville Slew. She finished second to Spectacular Lisa two starts ago in the $40,000 Sam Houston Distaff. That company line, as well as the promise of a better pace scenario than she had last time, points the late-running Cherylville Slew out as a top contender on Wednesday.

A one mile, $35,000 optional claimer, the feature drew seven fillies and mares. With a good effort, Cherylville Slew will likely advance to the Grade 3, $200,000 Oaklawn Breeders' Cup on March 13, said owner and trainer, C.R. Trout.

Cherylville Slew, a multiple stakes winner, comes into Wednesday's race on the heels of a second-place finish to La Reason in a money allowance at Oaklawn. Cherylville Slew was favored in the race, which was run Feb. 13.

"The pace was so slow, we had to move her before we normally would," Trout said. "She's got one burst and when you use it you use it."

Cherylville Slew took the lead in the stretch of the allowance, then was caught late by La Reason, who shot up the rail. Trout is hopeful there will be more pace Wednesday.

"When they're going the opening quarter in 25 [seconds], it's killing her," he said.

That should not be the case this time. Mavoreen, a stakes winner around two turns, should show more speed than last time as she stretches out from six furlongs. Storm's Finale should also be prominent from her rail post, while Above the Harbor and Chitchat Chitchat can be in the fray early. Another factor that might benefit Cherylville Slew is the possibility of rain.

"An off track doesn't bother her at all," said Trout, who has given the mount to Ken Shino.

Storm's Finale could be dangerous if she is able to get clear from her rail post. She won a $25,000 claimer at Sunland Park in her last start Jan. 27. Tim Doocy, who won four races at Oaklawn on Saturday, including the Grade 3, $100,000 Essex, has the mount for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Asmussen trains the Essex winner, Private Emblem.

Mavoreen returns to racing around two turns. The move should suit her as her last win came around two turns, in the $60,000 San Jose at Bay Meadows last April. Jamie Theriot has the mount for trainer Grant Forster.