12/06/2002 12:00AM

Beautiful's challenge: Distance


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Beautiful America has done enough this year to earn herself the New York-bred juvenile filly championship, but if voters have any doubts, they will get another chance to see her in action in Sunday's $75,000-added East View at Aqueduct.

Beautiful America is 4 for 5 lifetime, including wins in her last three starts, and is one of six 2-year-old fillies in the 1 1/16-mile East View, for New York-breds.

In her sole defeat, Beautiful America finished third against the boys in the New York Breeders' Futurity at Finger Lakes in September. Since that loss, Beautiful America, a daughter of Dixie Brass who is owned by Chester and Mary Broman, has reeled off wins in three restricted stakes - the Joseph A. Gimma, Maid of the Mist, and a division of the New York Stallion Stakes.

The East View presents a new challenge for Beautiful America, who makes her first start around two turns. Her victories have come at six furlongs, seven furlongs, and a mile.

"I worked her the other day from the half-mile to the seven-eighths pole, so she went two turns and I was pleased with the way she did it," said Beautiful America's trainer, Mike Hernandez, who is stabled at Belmont Park. "There are so many things in life you don't know, but you try. She is sharp right now and working well."

Hernandez said he expects that Beautiful America will be forwardly placed in the early running. She drew the rail and carries 122 pounds as the highweight. Jose Santos rides.

Marc's Rainbow, part of an uncoupled entry trained by Todd Pletcher, may have the best chance of beating Beautiful America, particularly if Marc's Rainbow goes unchallenged on the lead.

Marc's Rainbow finished second in the Miss Grillo at Aqueduct in October after setting the pace in the 1 1/8-mile race. She was caught late by Fircroft, the one-length winner.

"She drops back a sixteenth of a mile and that should be in her favor," Pletcher said.

Marc's Rainbow drew post 3; Richard Migliore will ride. Pletcher's other runner, Comban-chera, finished second to Beautiful America in the Maid of the Mist and won her next start at Aqueduct by 2 1/4 lengths after setting a soft pace in a mile allowance race.

"[Combanchera] is better suited to following and Marc's Rainbow is the speedier of the two, so that will give Combanchera somebody to follow," Pletcher said.

John Velazquez rides Combanchera from post 6.

Coo Cold Bird, Manny's Gold Maker, and Market Guru complete the field.

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