10/22/2002 11:00PM

Neeka tries to extend win streak


ANDERSON, Ind. - Neeka will attempt to stretch her win streak to four while stretching out in distance when she heads a field of 12 Indiana-bred 3-year-old fillies in Friday's $40,000 Evansville Stakes at Hoosier Park.

A daughter of Bright Launch, Neeka was unsuccessful against maiden company in seven tries at Illinois tracks this year. She made her Hoosier Park debut a rousing success with a 7 3/4-length win over statebreds and has since moved through her Indiana-bred conditions in successive races. She makes her first step into stakes company in this 1 1/16-mile race for trainer Robert Zahl will have leading rider Lester Knight in the saddle.

Late-running Amanda's Crown makes her first start beyond six furlongs in the Evansville, but the 3-year-old daughter of Crown Ambassador is the most accomplished runner in the field and is the horse to beat.

Trained by Stephen Dunn, Amanda's Crown captured the Vincennes Stakes on Oct. 4 to push her lifetime mark to 4-3-1 from 12 starts. She was second against older statebreds in the Madison County before that and captured the Miss Indiana and Indiana Stallion Futurity last year. Her bankroll of $133,716 is more than double that of any of her rivals. Mike Morgan rides.

Stolen Flag, trained by James Hauswald, has just two starts under her belt but they were solid efforts and both came at one mile. A daughter of Personal Flag, her career debut was on Sept. 12 when she led to the furlong pole before settling for second. She returned on Oct. 11 with a 9 3/4-length win and could be a danger if allowed to get loose on the lead. Alex Birzer rides.