09/04/2003 12:00AM

Okie Style is stakes-proven


ALTOONA, Iowa - Two-year-olds are in the spotlight here Saturday night in a pair of $40,000 stakes, the Prairie Meadows Freshman for colts and geldings, and the Prairie Meadows Debutante for fillies.

Okie Style is the only stakes winner among the six horses in the six-furlong Freshman. In his second career start, on Aug. 16, Okie Style dueled throughout and gamely held on for a half-length victory against restricted company in the Iowa Stallion Futurity.

Okie Style, a gelding trained by Kelly Von Hemel, just missed in his debut when his rally fell a nose short against maiden special weight company here on June 18. The winner of that race, Soriano Cat, also starts in the Freshman and is coupled in the wagering with Toriano Cat.

Recent maiden winners Cocodan and It's Lucky look dangerous in the Freshman. Cocodan, who is also trained by Von Hemel but starts uncoupled due to separate ownership, scored an easy 7 3/4-length victory here at six furlongs on Aug. 24 in his third lifetime start. He had been disqualified from a victory at Canterbury Park in his previous start. Perry Compton has a return call.

It's Lucky won his maiden here in his debut just eight days ago at odds of 3-5 for trainer Judy Hicklin. He led throughout the six-furlong maiden special weight race under jockey Mike Allen, who will be aboard again in the Freshman.

Berry Berry will be a short-priced favorite in a field of eight in the six-furlong Debutante.

Berry Berry is undefeated in two starts, including a gate-to-wire one-length victory over Lovethatlegend in the five-furlong Prairie Gold Lassie Stakes July 6 in her most recent start.

Lovethatlegend has won both of her starts since the $50,000 Gold Lassie and was recently sold for more than $350,000.

Larry Hunt trains and co-owns Berry Berry, a daughter of Defrere, with his wife, Sonja.

Withdrawn, a daughter of Phone Trick, rallied to score a 9 1/2-length maiden victory last out in her second career start. She is trained by Hicklin and Alex Birzer has the mount.