07/03/2001 12:00AM

Unbridled Elaine tops Iowa Oaks


ALTOONA, Iowa - Unbridled Elaine heads a solid field of six in the $150,000 Iowa Oaks at 1 1/16 miles at Prairie Meadows Thursday.

Unbridled Elaine, a daughter of Unbridled's Song, enters the Oaks off a fourth-place finish against a strong field in the Grade 1 Acorn at Belmont Park on June 8, beaten 2 1/4 lengths by upset winner Forest Secrets. Her owner, Roger Devenport, transferred her from the barn of Dallas Stewart following the Acorn; she makes her first start for trainer David Vance in the Iowa Oaks.

Unbridled Elaine has won 3 of 5 starts including the Pocahontas Stakes last fall at Churchill Downs. The Oaks will be her first try around two turns. Hall of Famer Pat Day will be aboard her for the first time on Thursday.

The Oaks is far from a one-horse race, however. Trainer Jan Ely ships Dancin Emi in from Chicago for her first try against stakes company. Dancin Emi, a daughter of Summer Squall, is undefeated in three career starts, having won at all three of the Chicago-area tracks, including a two-length score against older rivals in a one-mile allowance race on June 13 at Arlington Park. The Oaks will also be Dancin Emi's first try around two turns but she figures to handle the added distance without a problem. Carlos Silva, who has been aboard the filly in all three of her starts, will be in Iowa for the mount.

One filly who is already proven around two turns is Kerry Blue. Trained by Jeff Lynn, she won both of her two-turn races by open lengths, although she was disqualified from the first win, at Hawthorne, for causing interference. In her most recent start, Kerry Blue rallied to score a widening 6 1/4-length victory here in the one-mile Panthers Stakes on June 16. Kerry Blue's owner, E.R. Meyer, says he has turned down several six-figure offers for Kerry Blue since the Panthers. Regular rider Larry Sterling has the mount.

Sharkey's Review is the local hope in the Oaks. An Iowa-bred daughter of Sharkey, she is undefeated in three starts, all sprints at Prairie Meadows, for trainer Mark Bader, including a win in the Bob Bryant Stakes against state-breds May 28. Luis Quinonez, who has ridden the filly in all three of her starts, rides.

* Two-time defending Iowa-bred horse of the year Sure Shot Biscuit will be heavily favored to score his fifth straight victory when he meets seven rivals in Thursday's co-feature the $75,000-added Cyclones Stakes for state-breds going 1 1/16 miles.