09/02/2004 12:00AM

Thistledown: Florida shipper tough


NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - Anna Em ships in from Calder to head a field of nine Ohio-bred 3-year-old fillies in the $40,000 Ohio Debutante Handicap at Thistledown.

Anna Em, a daughter of Our Emblem, will be making the first start of her 12-race career in Ohio in the six-furlong race. She has a 4-3-0 record for earnings of $156,486, highlighted by a win in the five-furlong Open Mind Stakes on the Churchill Downs grass course on May 15.

In her last start on July 10, Anna Em was unplaced after pressing the pace into the stretch in the six-furlong Grade 3 Azalea Breeders' Cup at Calder. Anna Em's forte is sheer speed and she will be hard to chase down.

She is the highweight in the field at 124 pounds, and Thistledown's leading jockey, Luis Antonio Gonzalez, will ride for trainer Tom Amoss.

The main opposition for Anna Em should come from Spring Cat, a double stakes winner while sprinting last year. She was second in the 1 1/16-mile J.W. Petro Memorial Stakes here on June 12. Scott Spieth will ride for trainer Joseph R. Martin.