06/20/2001 11:00PM

Thistledown: Creek favored


NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - Across the Creek should leave the gate as a prohibitive favorite when she takes up highweight of 124 pounds and spots her nine Ohio-bred 3-year-old filly rivals from nine to 15 pounds in the $50,000 Annie Oakley Handicap at 1 1/16 miles at Thistledown.

Across the Creek comes into the race off a 2 1/2-length victory in the Tomboy Stakes at River Downs, going the same distance as this race. Before that she was third in the Pinellas Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.

Last year she was victorious in the Ohio Juvenile Fillies championship, also at this distance. Kevin Radke will ride.

Left Lane Lorrain is the filly Across the Creek will have to beat. She finished fourth behind Across the Creek in the Tomboy and has won a pair of stakes in her four career starts. Trainer Michael Nance has engaged the services of Julio Felix, who will ride at 116 pounds.

Of the others, Ashwood C C would appear to have the best chance of winning. She has been very consistent during her career, and a little improvement could make her a solid factor. Scott Saito rides for trainer Rod Madrigal at 113 pounds.