07/28/2005 11:00PM

River Downs: Lillians Choice quickest

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Bettors searching for a winner in the $40,000 Tah Dah Stakes at River Downs might, at first glance, think the race sets up for a closer based on an abundance of early speed.

Upon further inspection, though, Lillians Choice appears to be the speed of the speed, and she may be the one to fear most in the Tah Dah, for Ohio-bred 2-year-old fillies at 5 1/2 furlongs.

Lillians Choice, by Cape Canaveral out of a Gilded Time mare, was bred to be both precocious and fast. In her debut in an open maiden race at Lone Star Park on July 4, Lillians Choice pressed the pace three wide and eventually wore down the leaders to win by a half-length.

Comparing the fractions of that race with those set by other fillies who are expected to show early foot, Lillians Choice appears to hold a slight edge.

Hoping a speed duel develops is Fight Girl, the beaten favorite against colts in the Hoover Stakes at River two weeks ago. Fight Girl finished a distant fourth in the Hoover, but her effort was better than it looks as she was less than a length behind runner-up M and Em.

Tommeyesgold, a 5 1/4-length winner of a statebred maiden last out, is another likely to show early speed. The ease with which she won her maiden more than made up for the disappointment of her debut, when she stumbled leaving the gate and lost jockey Hector Rosario Jr.