08/22/2001 11:00PM

Sellers may be on right one in Momentous


ALTOONA, Iowa - One of the six 3-year-old fillies in the $75,000 Prairie Meadows Oaks will score her first stakes victory here Saturday night, but the focus of attention will be on jockey Shane Sellers's return to competition following an eight-month absence caused by a serious knee injury.

Sellers, who was the nation's third-leading rider in earnings last year, had reconstructive surgery on his left knee after being thrown and kicked by his mount following the post parade of a race on Dec. 9 at Fair Grounds. During his down time, Sellers recorded a country music CD, which included a single that made it onto the national charts.

Sellers's Oaks mount is the Gainsborough Farm-owned Momentous, who may go favored. Momentous, a daughter of Summer Squall, recorded two straight front-running allowance wins at Churchill Downs going the 1 1/16-mile distance of the Oaks. In her most recent start, Momentous tired to finish last in the one-mile Winning Colors at Arlington Park, her first stakes try. Henry Cochran trains Momentous, who has won 3 of her 11 starts and earned more than $97,000.

Although Supreme Song has won only one of her 13 starts, she is not without a chance in the Oaks. She returns from Arlington Park, where she finished sixth after racing on the pace for the first six furlongs in the Grade 3 Singapore Plate, which was won by Caressing.

In her previous start, Supreme Song finished second here in the $150,000 Iowa Oaks, beaten 8 1/4 lengths by Unbridled Elaine, who went on to win the Monmouth Oaks. Supreme Song also finished second in the $50,000 Panthers here earlier in the meet. Trainer Bill Hazen Jr. has given the mount to rider Perry Compton.