07/07/2005 12:00AM

Burnish may get slop she relishes in Grade 1 Prioress


ELMONT, N.Y. - All the focus regarding Nick Zito's 3-year-old crop this year has been on his colts. The newly elected Hall of Fame trainer has a pretty nice 3-year-old filly in Burnish, who seeks Grade 1 glory in Saturday's $250,000 Prioress Stakes at Belmont Park.

, a daughter of Menifee, has won her last two starts, including the Grade 3 Miss Preakness Stakes. Both victories have come over sloppy tracks, a condition that may prevail Saturday if the New York area gets the two inches of rain forecast for Friday.

Burnish, who will break from post 6 under Rafael Bejarano, benefits when there is a hotly contested pace in front of her. It remains to be seen whether that scenario will play out in Saturday six-furlong race. Contrast, Talented, and Maddalena all have speed if their connections elect to use it.

Trainer Alan Goldberg said he might not run Contrast on a wet track. Contrast, a daughter of Unbridled out of the champion mare Safely Kept, is 2 for 2, with both wins coming in front-running fashion on dry tracks.

Talented and Maddalena are both trained by Todd Pletcher. Maddalena, a daughter of Good and Tough, won her first three starts - including the Grade 3 Old Hat - by a combined 19 3/4 lengths. She has won only one of her last three and has broken poorly in her last two starts.

, a daughter of Fusaichi Pegasus, has lived up to her name and her $700,000 purchase price. After losing her debut by a neck in a key race at Gulfstream, Talented won her maiden at Keeneland by eight lengths and the Twist Afleet Stakes here by six.

"She has got a lot of natural speed, but she's happy to sit wherever you put her,'' said Tristan Barry, assistant to Pletcher. "She's not one to take off and waste herself.''

Talented will break from post 8 under Javier Castellano.

, winner of the Dearly Precious and Comely Stakes, will be a live longshot. Acey Deucey finished fourth in the Nassau County, but trainer John Morrison explained that Acey Deucey lost a shoe in that race, and suffered several cuts and scrapes that prompted her to miss 10 days.

"The last two weeks she has really come around,'' Morrison said. "The last work she had was as good as she has ever worked.''

R Fast Lady, who is 3 for 3 with blinkers added, ships in from California for Eoin Harty. She comes off stakes wins at Bay Meadows and Lone Star.

The field

Purse: $250,000; 6 furlongs; Grade 1

1aSense of StyleE. Prado1214-5
2R Fast LadyR. Migliore11920-1
3Acey DeuceyD. Nelson11930-1
4aMaddalenaE. Coa1194-5
5ContrastS. Elliott1177-2
6BurnishR. Bejarano1198-1
7Slew MotionR. Rodriguez11520-1
8TalentedJ. Castellano1153-1

* a-coupled
* Odds by Art Gropper