01/19/2007 1:00AM

Promising fillies make '07 debuts


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - The first race Sunday at Oaklawn Park offers a first look at some of the 3-year-old fillies capable of advancing to the track's top race for the division, the Grade 2, $250,000 Fantasy Stakes on April 6.

Chief among the entrants in the seven-horse optional claimer are High Heels and Grace Happens, who both exit Grade 2 races and are making their first start since November. Also in the 1 1/16-mile race is the stakes-placed New Edition.

High Heels finished third in the Grade 2 Golden Rod at Churchill Downs in her last start, Nov. 25. She raced close to the pace before finishing 3 1/4 lengths behind the winner, Lady Joanne. One start earlier, High Heels won her maiden at Churchill. In each race she earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 83, the highest last-race number in Sunday's race.

"I hope she turns out as good I think she is, then I'll be okay," said Gary Hartlage, who trains High Heels and is looking forward to getting her 3-year-old season under way.

High Heels is a May foal by E Dubai out of the stakes-winning mare Ornate, who was trained by Hartlage. As a maiden, High Heels ran a close second in Anna M. Fisher Debutante at Ellis Park, then two starts later won her maiden at seven furlongs. High Heels races for her breeder, Anita Ebert, and will break from the rail. Hartlage has given the mount to regular rider Joe Johnson.

"She can be in a stalking position," said Hartlage. "If nobody shows up, she can go to the lead. She can just about do what she needs to do."

The chief threat is Grace Happens, who in her last start was fourth to the promising Boca Grande in the Grade 2 Demoiselle at Aqueduct on Nov. 25. One start earlier, she won her maiden by a nose in a 1 1/16-mile turf race at Churchill. Grace Happens will be making her first start for trainer D. Wayne Lukas. She will add blinkers for this race. Grace Happens is a daughter of Aptitude, and figures to make a bid late under John McKee.

* Cab, an overnight stakes winner in his last start, is one of seven sprinters who will mix it up in the eighth race. Others in the six-furlong optional claimer include Prospective Kiss, Western Acres, Spotsgone, and Kingsfield.