04/08/2005 11:00PM

Sis City blows 'em away

Bill Straus
Sis City followed up her 16-length Davona Dale score with this 10 1/2-length victory in the Ashland Stakes.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Just like in her previous start, Sis City ran off and hid from her rivals, posting a 10 1/2-length victory Saturday in the 68th running of the Grade 1 at Keeneland.

The victory in the $500,000 Ashland figures to make Sis City the favorite in the May 6 Kentucky Oaks, barring a start by Sweet Catomine, who ran fifth Saturday in the Santa Anita Derby.

Before a packed house of 30,110, Edgar Prado and Sis City conceded the early lead to longshot Amazing Buy before they took over midway through the final turn of the 1 1/16-mile race. Down the stretch, Sis City steadily pulled away in a vivid reminder of her 16-length win in her previous race, the Feb. 5 Davona Dale Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Sis City, a former $50,000 claimer now owned by a partnership headed by Stonerside Stable, returned $5.20 as the favorite in a field of six 3-year-old fillies.

"Ever since Gulfstream, we've been excited about this race," said winning trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. "I don't know how they're going to beat her in the future. All we've got to do is keep her happy and healthy."

Runway Model finished second, three lengths before Memorette. Summerly, the 2-1 second choice, ran fourth, another 5 3/4 lengths back, followed by Letgomyecho and Amazing Buy.

Over a fast track and amid ideal weather, Amazing Buy led through fractions of 22.89, 47.46, and 1:12.75. Without Prado even asking, Sis City quickly opened up and was not threatened thereafter, as she finished in 1:46.35 over a track rated fast but yielding inordinately slow times.

Sis City, a Kentucky-bred by Slew City Slew, earned $310,000 to move her bankroll to $682,980. The victory was her fifth from nine career starts.

The Ashland field lost one of its major contenders when Sharp Lisa, winner of the Grade 1 Las Virgenes in her previous start, was scratched early in the day. The filly was suffering from a bruised hind hoof after apparently kicking her stall wall, according to trainer Doug O'Neill.

"It looks like a bruise but we'll know more [Sunday] morning," said O'Neill.

The Ashland victory was the first for Prado but his 21st in a Keeneland stakes since the 2001 spring meet.

The attendance was second-largest in track history, following the 31,028 who saw the Lexington Stakes last year.

* Earlier Saturday, Alumni Hall ($12.40) ran down Best Minister to win a $68,000 allowance route. Pies Prospect, the 2-5 favorite, faded to last in a field of five older horses.