05/21/2003 11:00PM

Thistledown: Come Hither looks tough


NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - Come Hither, a fast-closing second when beaten by a neck in the Alyssa Handicap in her last race, will be favored on Saturday afternoon in the $35,000 Brent's Princess Handicap. She faces eight other Ohio-bred fillies and mares in the six-furlong race.

Come Hither, a 4-year-old chestnut daughter of Left Banker, is the lone stakes winner in the race. She won the six-furlong Tougaloo here last April.

Come Hither comes into the race at the top of her game, and should have little difficulty winning. Come Hither is owned by the Eutrophia Farm, trained by James E. Morgan, and will be ridden by Luis Gonzalez.

Main opposition for Come Hither should come from Mercer's Launch, who won a 5 1/2-furlong allowance at River Downs on May 11, her first start since Nov. 10. She led every step of the way that day and should be able to set the pace Saturday. Mercer's Launch will be ridden by Huber Villa-Gomez and is trained by Jeffrey Williams.

Of the others, Just Michel would appear to have the best chance of upsetting. She has a win and two seconds from three career starts and could contest the pace. Ricardo Feliciano will ride for trainer Michael Nance.