10/01/2002 11:00PM

Oaks draws well-traveled field of 10


ANDERSON, Ind. - A field of 10 3-year-old fillies, whose last starts span the country, have converged on Hoosier Park for Friday night's $300,000 Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks. The field sports last-start past-performance lines from The Meadowlands, Del Mar, Belmont, Saratoga, Emerald Downs, and several Midwest tracks.

The Oaks, which for a second year has Grade 3 status, shares the spotlight in Hoosier's showcase weekend with Saturday night's Grade 3, $400,000 Indiana Derby.

Lost at Sea, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite for the 1 1/16-mile Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks, but according to racing officials on Wednesday, she is expected to be scratched because of a quarter crack.

Erica's Smile invades off a three-length win in her first try at a distance of ground in the Washington BC Oaks at Emerald Downs. Previously, she won the Fairfield Stakes at Solano in northern California. Regular rider Roberto Gonzalez will be in to ride for trainer Jeff Bonde on the confirmed front-runner.

Magic Storm, trained by Wayne Lukas for Overbrook and Eaglestone Farms, also appears a strong pace factor in the Oaks. Robby Albarado, who won this race a year ago aboard Scoop, has the mount from post 7. Bare Necessities, from trainer Wallace Dollase, could also show a good deal of speed here. Jose Valdivia rides from post 4.

Should a pace duel develop, a number of solid closers could benefit. Tarnished Lady, trained by Todd Pletcher, appears to have the strongest credentials off her 6 1/4-length win in the Summit Stakes at The Meadowlands. Tarnished Lady rallied to the lead in deep stretch of the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks in July at Belmont Park, but was run down by Jilbab and finished second, beaten 1 1/2 lengths. Chris DeCarlo has the ride from post 1.

Making her graded stakes debut, Uluvitnunoit upset See How She Runs in the Prairie Meadows Oaks earlier this month for her fourth win in her last five starts.

Uluvitnunoit has never been worse than third in her eight career starts and has excelled recently while stretching out in distance. A late-running daughter of Evansville Slew who is trained by Doug Anderson, Uluvitnunoit will be ridden by Cindy Noll, who arrived here last week after the conclusion of the Prairie Meadows meet.

Rounding out the field are Saratoga Cat, Chris Emigh to ride from post 2; Traci's Wild, Terry Thompson up from post 3; Fly Borboleta, Mark Guidy, post 8; and Emeraldforajudge, Eddie Martin Jr., post 10.

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