09/02/2001 11:00PM

River Downs: Sweep for state-breds


CINCINNATI - Harlan's Holiday, an Ohio-bred based in Kentucky with trainer Ken McPeek, outlasted Request for Parade in a lengthy stretch duel Monday in the $200,000 Cradle Stakes, completing an unprecedented sweep for Ohio-breds in the two showcase races at River Downs.

Harlan's Honey, ridden by Tony D'Amico, made a strong move to gain command on the backstretch of the 1 1/16-mile Cradle, then was taken to the limit by Request for Parole, the 2-1 favorite, to win by a neck. Arctic Sand closed late to finish 10 lengths back in third.

Harlan's Honey ($14.40) was an easy winner of two restricted stakes in his two previous starts after having finished second in his career bow at Churchill Downs. He finished in 1:46.40 over a fast track.

The Cradle victory followed a win by Joanies Bella in the Bassinet Stakes on Saturday. According to River director of racing Gary Wilfert, Ohio-breds have never captured the track's signature races in the same year.

McPeek said the Kentucky Cup Juvenile or Breeders' Futurity could be next for Harlan's Holiday.