06/06/2001 12:00AM

The return of Rapadash in Oaks

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SASKATOON, Saskatchewan - The first four finishers from an allowance prep, plus last year's CTHS Saskatchewan juvenile filly of the year, and a ship-in from Manitoba form the long list of contenders in Friday's six-furlong Marquis Oaks at Marquis Downs.

Three of the contestants are stakes winners and three are stakes-placed in an evenly-matched field of nine 3-year-old fillies.

Rapadash will make her first start of the season in the Oaks after having been named the province's Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society champ.

At 2, Rapadash won the 6 1/2-furlong Heritage in her debut while facing four of the rivals she will meet again Friday.

In her only other outing, over a sloppy track in the Prairie Lily Sales Stakes, Rapadash finished third as the favorite.

Serge Rocheleau rides Rapadash, who will break from post 3 as the 121-pound highweight

Ms. Lady Rose finished second in the Heritage and then closed well to be second in the Prairie Lily while beaten 1 1/4 lengths by the top 2-year-old male, Ice Jamer.

In her only start this year, Ms. Lady Rose was victorious in the Oaks prep here May 26. Three of the fillies she defeated there are back for another shot in the Oaks - Red Vil Do and She's Home Alone, both of whom were stakes winners at 2, and Arctic Sparkle.

Magic Elegance arrives from Assiniboia Downs with two impressive five-furlong victories to her credit in 2001.

Using her rapid early foot, Magic Elegance won a maiden race and then easily took a nonwinners-of-two allowance. Leading Rider Walt Ramos has the mount.

* Saturday's feature will be the $6,000 Matron Handicap, a six-furlong race headed by with Judge Smiles.

Victorious in this race last year and in her lone allowance prep this year, Judge Smiles will try to disprove the saying "the old gray mare ain't what she used to be" as the 10-year-old takes on seven younger rivals.

Truly Remarkable and Princess Briartic, last year's top local sophomore fillies, also are in the Matron lineup.