04/12/2005 11:00PM

Sharp Lisa gets second chance


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Sharp Lisa will get a second chance to prep for the Kentucky Oaks on Friday in the Grade 2, $250,000 Fantasy at Oaklawn Park. The 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies comes a week after a hind foot bruise forced Sharp Lisa to be scratched from the Grade 1 Ashland.

"This is definitely a big step to the Oaks," said Doug O'Neill, who trains Sharp Lisa.

She was flown in from Lexington, Ky., on Tuesday, and will head a first-rate field of nine, including Jill Robin L, winner of the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss; Cape Hope, who has won her last four starts, all on turf; and Round Pond, who is trained by John Servis.

The Fantasy is one of the nine stakes that make up the annual Racing Festival of the South over the last six days of the Oaklawn meet. Total stakes purses are $2,775,000 for the series, which ends Saturday with the Grade 2, $1 million Arkansas Derby.

sustained the foot bruise last Friday.

"She was walking around the shed row, spooked, and kicked double barrel," said O'Neill. "Her left hind foot hit the wall of the barn."

O'Neill said X-rays came back clean, and provided that Sharp Lisa looks good on Friday morning, she will run in the Fantasy.

"She galloped great this morning," O'Neill said Wednesday.

The incident cost Sharp Lisa a work, O'Neill said, but he is comfortable with her fitness and she has trained well all week.

"I think her not being a real huge filly, maintaining fitness is a little bit easier as opposed to a big heavy horse," said O'Neill.

Sharp Lisa is one of the nation's top fillies. In her second career start, and first race for O'Neill, she finished second, beaten a head by Runway Model, in the Grade 2 Alcibiades in October. This year she has raced twice, winning the Grade 2 Santa Ynez in January and the Grade 1 Las Virgenes in her last start, on Feb. 12.

Also in the field is , who was third to Sweet Catomine last out in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks. She Sings is cross-entered in the $100,000 Instant Racing Breeders' Cup here on Saturday.

, who is undefeated in two starts, is to be scratched from the Fantasy, according to her trainer, George Weaver.

Weaver said Yankee Penny entrapped her epiglottis when galloping Wednesday and that she was to have throat surgery on Tuesday.

- additional reporting by David Grening