02/12/2009 12:00AM

Barn talking up Chattertown


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The triumvirate of Sky Diva, Mani Bhavan, and Livin Lovin combined to win four graded stakes last year for trainer Steve Klesaris and owner Jeff Puglisi.

There was another filly for whom Klesaris and Puglisi had high hopes, one who took a little longer to find success. But now it appears Chattertown is ready to join her more celebrated stablemates as a stakes winner when she meets four other maiden winners in Saturday's $65,000 Dearly Precious Stakes going six furlongs at Aqueduct. The Dearly Precious is the featured event on Saturday's nine-race card, but will go as race 3. The New York Racing Association is offering a guaranteed pool of $250,000 for its late pick four (races 6 thru 9) and wanted the races with larger fields in the sequence.

Chattertown, a $250,000 2-year-old-in-training purchase, lost her first three starts before dead-heating for win with One Smokin' Lady on Jan.o4 at Philadelphia Park. Chattertown set the pace in that race, then was passed by One Smokin' Lady, only to come back and finish on even terms with her at the wire. One Smokin' Lady returned to win a first-level allowance race by 5o1/2 lengths while the third- and fourth-place finishers from the maiden race came back to run first and second last week at Philly.

Klesaris believes that Chattertown, a daughter of Speightstown, had as much talent as her more accomplished stablemates and may have been the victim of troubled trips in her first two starts before running into a nice filly in Song of Solomon when stretched out around two turns last November.

"She always showed a lot of ability, just didn't deliver it in the afternoon,'' Klesaris said. "It was kind of baffling why one to train as good as she did couldn't put it together in the afternoon, though she did get banged around a couple of times.''

Klesaris said he was encouraged by the fight Chattertown showed in her last race and added that the race has moved her forward.

"She's trained very smartly coming to this,'' he said. "Hopefully, she can live up to what we thought she was.''

David Cohen, the third-leading rider at Philadelphia Park, will ride Chattertown from post 5.

Liza Too, second as the 4-5 favorite in a first-level allowance race, adds Lasix for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. Dream Play had traffic trouble while fourth in that same race. Spina was a late-running second in a starter allowance here last month. Listentothewindblo ships in from Maryland for trainer Michael Trombetta.