03/14/2006 1:00AM

Reasons to stay for late double


Some fairly promising 3-year-old fillies and a once-promising 5-year-old horse make the back end of Thursday's Oaklawn Park racing program worth sticking around for.

Race 9 drew an evenly matched field of seven 3-year-old fillies, while race 10, a second-level allowance with a $35,000 claiming option, has more horses - 12 including a coupled entry - and seems completely up for grabs.

Trainer Larry Jones has two for the 3-year-old filly race: the stakes-dropping , second by a neck against similar horses in her most recent start. Gasia's first try at two turns came from post 11 in the Martha Washington Stakes, and her eighth-place finish there doesn't truly represent her ability, but while Gasia remains unproven around two turns, Shytoe Lafeet has come around steadily since switching to route races. She won her maiden in her second two-turn start, a one-mile race in the slop Jan. 22 at Oaklawn, and was a good second of 10 in her first try with other winners on Feb. 9. But no one seems to have been paying attention: Shytoe Lafeet was 13-1 when she won her maiden, and more than 18-1 in her near-miss last time out.

"She's kind of narrow-made, not a speed type at all," Jones said. "The big surprise is that she's done this well without being on grass. Being around her, grass is the first thing you're thinking."

Shytoe Lafeet's turf debut will have to await the Keeneland meet, and if she or Gasia is to clear this allowance condition Thursday, they will have to get past Readyforcocktails. A winner of her first two starts last summer, finished fourth as the odds-on favorite in the $100,000 Bassinet Stakes last summer at River Downs. She wasn't seen again until March 1, when she got trapped along the rail and wound up third in a quickly run sprint allowance. Trainer Steve Asmussen is stretching Readyforcocktails out to two turns for the first time, and she appears well suited to Oaklawn's one-mile configuration with its short stretch.

Entered in race 10 is Shadowland, a Team Valor-owned English import who finished second in the 2004 Lecomte Stakes but failed to reproduce that form in five subsequent starts and hasn't raced in 13 months. But Shadowland is back with trainer Ralph Nicks, who had him for the Lecomte, and he appears to have trained strongly for his comeback.

"He's done really well," said Nicks, "but you never know when they've had that much time off. He's coming off an injury, but he's had a good work tab, and I think he should run well."