08/28/2003 12:00AM

Thistledown: Oh So Easy shortens up


NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - The Ohio Debutante Handicap has drawn a competitive field of 10 Ohio-bred 3-year-old fillies who will square off over six furlongs for a $40,000 purse.

The highweight in the field, under an impost of 122 pounds, is Oh So Easy, a Take That Step filly who has won two stakes in her last three starts. Both wins, one of which came on the grass, were at River Downs going 1 1/16 miles.

The turn-back to six furlongs is a major question mark for Oh So Easy, as she is winless in four starts at the distance. Irwin Rosendo will ride for trainer Tim Hamm. Oh So Easy will run coupled with Kiosk, who will be ridden by Huber Villa-Gomez.

The best sprinter in the race is Just Michel, who is weighted at 118. She won the six-furlong Brent's Princess Stakes here on May 24, and has since finished second once and third twice in middle-distance stakes. Just Michel has the speed to make the lead here and is a threat to wire the field. Her regular jockey, Ricardo Feliciano, will again ride for trainer Michael Nance.

Orangeberry will also be a strong factor. She won the 1 1/16-mile Tomboy Stakes at River Downs on May 17 and was second in the nine-furlong Queens City Oaks there on July 26.

Like Oh So Easy, she has not won at this distance, having finished third twice from three starts. Hector Rosario rides for trainer Luis Palacios at 119.