11/14/2001 12:00AM

Obvious hero of Miss Indiana Stakes is, uh, Miss Indiana


ANDERSON, Ind. - From a handicapping standpoint, and for hunch players, there couldn't be a more clear-cut favorite for Friday's $70,000-added Miss Indiana Stakes than . . . Miss Indiana.

Friday's six-furlong feature drew a field of 12 2-year-old Indiana-bred fillies. Miss Indiana, trained by Steve Asmussen, stands out as the prohibitive favorite.

Miss Indiana won her maiden at first asking against special-weight company at Keeneland this spring. She was given most of the summer off and returned Aug. 29 at Saratoga to take a one-other-than allowance by 3 1/4 lengths. She then traveled to Arlington Park where she was the favorite in the Grade 3 Arlington- Washington Lassie. In the one-mile Lassie she led or prompted the pace for six furlongs before fading to seventh.

She made her Hoosier Park debut on Oct. 5, splashing to a 6 1/2-length win against statebreds in the City of Anderson Stakes over a sloppy 5 1/2 furlongs. Miss Indiana is owned by Keith Asmussen and the Oceanfront Property partnership, which includes country singer George Strait. She drew post 10 with Justin Vitek named to ride.

The likely threats to Miss Indiana should come from Thesullivanfive or Amanda's Crown.

Thesullivanfive failed to contend in the City of Anderson but returned with a 23-1 upset against allowance company on Nov. 2. Trained by Mazie Brown, Thesullivanfive will have Jamie Theriot aboard when the duo break from post 4.

Amanda's Crown chased Miss Indiana throughout in the City of Anderson to finish second for trainer Stephen Dunn. She returned Nov. 2 to face Thesullivanfive as the 3-5 favorite and was fourth, beaten 1 3/4 lengths. Jon Court rides from post 7.

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