07/02/2004 11:00PM

River Downs: Top two are due


Spring Cat and Happy Endings Too ended their 2-year-old campaigns last year by winning a stakes. Neither has won this year, but one of them could win the $40,000 Cincinnatian Stakes for Ohio-bred 3-year-old fillies at River Downs.

The Cincinnatian, scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on turf, has attracted a field of eight, but only four appear to have a chance. The Cincinnatian is restricted to accredited Ohio-breds - those sired by an Ohio stallion - so the talent pool to draw from is weaker than a registered Ohio-bred race.

There is no denying, however, the quality of Spring Cat, who won two stakes, the Loyalty and the Emerald Necklace, during a three-race win streak at Thistledown last fall. In her two starts this year, Spring Cat finished out of the money against older in the Brent's Princess Stakes, then was a distant second in the Petro Memorial at Thistledown.

Happy Endings Too finished 2 1/2 lengths behind Spring Cat in the Petro Memorial, her second runner-up finish in four starts this year. Though she has been slow to round into form, Happy Endings Too may have an edge on grass as a daughter of the stallion Forest Gazelle, a multiple turf winner.

Fast Talkin Girl enters the Cincinnatian in good form and was most recently a troubled second in a nonwinners-of-three allowance. She, too, is a daughter of Forest Gazelle. The other contender, Imahoneytoo, was stakes placed last year and has been competitive in allowances recently.