07/17/2002 11:00PM

Rose DeBartolo: Clash of the Ohio champions


NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - The $100,000 Rose DeBartolo Memorial Stakes, which tops the Ohio Derby undercard, matches Ohio-bred female champions Lady Cherie, last year's champion handicap mare, and Ashwood C C, the 3-year-old filly champion.

Lady Cherie, a 5-year-old owned by M.Y. Stables Inc., has been a model of consistency throughout her 26-race career, with a record of 14-5-2, and earnings of $426,900. She has won 2 of 3 starts this year, including the six-furlong Brents Princess Stakes here.

Lady Cherie likes to settle into stride before doing her best running. She will carry 122 pounds with regular rider Julio Felix aboard.

Ashwood C C has started six times this year and has one allowance win to her credit. She was unplaced behind Lady Cherie in her last start going a mile here June 30. Ashwood C C's forte is speed and is she is at her best will be tough to catch.

Scott Saito will ride for trainer Rodrigo Madrigal Sr. at 122 pounds.

Crypto Cream has crossed the wire first in her last four starts but was deprived of her lastest victory in the 1 1/16-mile Annie Oakley Stakes here June 22 when she was disqualified and placed fourth. Her breeding and running style suggests that the 1 1/8-mile distance of this race will be to her liking. She is owned by Pat Pavlish, trained by Alan Sobol, and will carry 119 pounds. She will be ridden by Luis Gonzalez.

Competitive Isi Newborn

The third stakes race on the 10-race card is the $35,000 Isi Newborn Memorial, which has drawn a competitive field of eight including Secret Romeo, On to Richmond, and Down Thepike Mike.

Secret Romeo has won 3 of 6 starts this year - the Lost Code at Sportsman's Park, the Super Stakes at Tampa Bay, and the Wolverine at Great Lakes Downs. He comes into the six-furlong Isi Newborn at the top of his game and will be hard to beat. Terry Houghton will ride for trainer Gerald Bennett.

On to Richmond is up from Mountaineer where he has won 5 of 6 starts this year. He has the speed to set the pace in this field. Scott Spieth will be aboard the Tim Girten trainee.

Ohio's sprint champion Down Thepike Mike has won 19 of his 35 starts and $404,35l. He is always competitive and figures in the mix. Julio Felix rides for trainer Michael Nance.