Updated on 09/17/2011 11:06AM

River Downs: No four-peat


The fun is gone - Doubly Fun that is - and the fillies and mares entered in the Ms. Southern Ohio Stakes Stakes at River Downs are breathing a sigh of relief.

Doubly Fun, the winner of the last three runnings of the Ms. Southern Ohio Stakes, is not back to defend her title this season. Ten Ohio-sired and bred fillies and mares will try and fill her large horseshoes in the 1 1/16-mile turf race, which carries a purse of $40,000.

The one to beat is Lady Cherie, third as the favorite behind Doubly Fun in the 2002 Ms. Southern Ohio. Lady Cherie is one of the most accomplished Ohio-bred mares in recent years. In a career spanning 34 starts, she has won 12 stakes and has placed in nine others. Her career earnings of more than $500,000 are more than what her nine opponents have earned combined.

Lady Cherie's 2003 campaign got off to a belated start on July 12 in a six-furlong allowance at Thistledown. Though she was beaten more than seven lengths, that race was a useful prep for the Ms. Southern Ohio.

Julio Felix rides Lady Cherie for trainer Mike Nance.

The most likely upsetter is Come Hither, recently third in the Rose DeBartolo Handicap at Thistledown. Though she has had to settle for minor awards in all of her stakes appearances in the last year, she did finish second in her only previous start on turf.

My Favorite Girl was second in the Cincinnatian Stakes against fellow 3-year-olds earlier in the meet, but tired badly when facing colts in the Horizon Stakes in her next start.

Sun Spot Baby, fifth in the Cincinnatian, rebounded to win a nonwinners-of-four allowance over the local turf in her next start.