04/01/2005 12:00AM

Pepsi to determine division leader


GRAND ISLAND, Neb. A full field of 10 3-year-old fillies meet in Sundays $15,000-added Pepsi Stakes at Fonner Park, a race that should help sort out a division lacking any local standouts.

The trio of Slews in Oz Now, Squawk Talk, and Yesterdays Rose appear likely to vie for favoritism in an evenly matched field going six furlongs.

Slews in Oz Now does have a pair of stakes wins to her credit, having won the Eureka Thoroughbred Futurity in her career debut last summer and the Anthony Thoroughbred Futurity two starts later. She has a pair of seconds here this year, including the Bachman Stakes against males on Feb.26. Curtis Kimes will ride from post 10 for trainer Joe Thomas.

Squawk Talk, trained by David Anderson, has acclimated nicely since her arrival from California. She won her maiden in her first local start, finished fourth in the Bachman, then was an impressive 5 3/4-length winner of a nonwinners-of-two allowance race here on March 13. She will be ridden by Perry Compton from post 2.

Yesterdays Rose will make her first start in Nebraska following a $32,000 maiden claiming win at Santa Anita on March 12. She was bought by owners J M Enterprises and Eric Ramaekers and been placed in the care of trainer Marv Johnson.

Yesterdays Rose needed eight tries to win her maiden in California but has been competitive in all of her races, from 5 1/2 to seven furlongs, and should be a strong factor in the Pepsi Stakes. R. D. Williams will ride from post 1.