01/05/2007 1:00AM

Amoss has strong hand for Kickoff Day


NEW ORLEANS - Fair Grounds starts its series for 3-year-olds Saturday with the Grade 3, $100,000 Lecomte Stakes for males and the $100,000 Tiffany Lass for fillies, both at a mile. Trainers will have a good opportunity to find out if their horses will be able to handle two turns, with the more important stakes to come later this spring.

The Lecomte and Tiffany Lass are part of the Road to the Derby Kickoff Day program at Fair Grounds, a five-stakes card that also includes the $100,000 Dr. A.B. Leggio Memorial Stakes, the $100,000 Colonel Power Stakes, and the $100,000 Col. E.R. Bradley Handicap.

Trainer Tom Amoss has top competitors for both the Lecomte and Tiffany Lass and is also pointing horses for the Leggio and the Colonel Power.

Lecomte hopeful Izzie's Halo took a while to win his maiden but turned in a dramatic breakthrough effort in his first start at Fair Grounds, drawing off to win by more than eight lengths in an impressive 1:10.77 for six furlongs. The effort earned Izzie's Halo a Beyer Speed Figure of 90.

"It was a very good number," said Amoss. "It was at a different distance, but it was a very good sprint number. We are hoping he will stretch out."

Amoss knows that his Tiffany Lass hopeful Whatdreamsrmadeof can get the mile because she has already finished second in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Keeneland.

A New York-bred, Whatdreamsrmadeof won her debut at Saratoga as the favorite last summer, then finished second in three consecutive races at a mile or longer, including the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies at Turfway Park. Amoss sent her out last week for a five-furlong work in 1:02.20.

"I think if she runs back to her other races she should do well," said Amoss. "I think she'll be one of the favorites in the race. It's really hard to handicap the other horses, because they can really show marked improvement from race to race at this stage. This is the time of year that young horses tend to improve."

Amoss has a strong hand in the undercard stakes as well. He plans to enter Ada's Dream, a 4-year-old daughter of Touch Gold, in the Leggio at 5 1/2 furlongs on the grass. Ada's Dream breezed a half-mile in 47 seconds Friday morning over a good track, more than two seconds faster than the second-best move at the distance.

"We're happy with the way she's going," said Amoss. "She's never run on turf, but she's bred for it, so we're going to give her a chance."

Amoss has three horses pointed for the Colonel Power, a six-furlong dirt sprint. Smalltown Slew has been a fast-closing second in both the Thanksgiving Handicap and the Bonapaw Stakes this meet. Smoke Mountain has won three straight races, including an impressive allowance score over the track, and Monkey Hill was beaten by just a half-length in the Bonapaw after being off since July.

"That was a good race for Monkey Hill after the layoff," said Amoss. "I have to get together with each of the owners and see what they want to do. I might run all three if the owners want to."