03/17/2005 1:00AM

Cape Hope vs. two she's already beaten


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Cape Hope left little doubt who was best in the Gaily Gaily Stakes on Feb. 20, exploding in the final furlong to an easy victory over Dynamite Lass and Paddy's Daisy. On Saturday, Cape Hope will try to do it again when she faces the same two rivals and eight other 3-year-old fillies in the 1 1/8-mile Herecomesthebride-Stakes.

Trainer Dallas Stewart shipped Cape Hope, a homebred daughter of Cape Town, from his Fair Grounds base for the Gaily Gaily and then left her at Gulfstream, where she has remained in the capable hands of Stewart's assistant, Joanne McNamara.

"We've just been keeping her fit and put a couple of half-mile works into her since the Gaily Gaily," said McNamara. "She's doing quite well, and I'm excited about seeing her come back again in this race."

The stretch-running , who had to overcome a bit of adversity at the start of the Gaily Gaily when crowded leaving the gate, has won all three starts since Stewart switched her to the turf for the first time in December.

Jose Santos will replace Jerry Bailey, who will be out of town Saturday, aboard Cape Hope in the Herecomesthebride.

suffered only her second loss in six turf starts in the Gaily Gaily, tiring to finish third after holding a short lead coming into the stretch. Paddy's Daisy figures to improve off that race, which was her first start since winning the Grade 3 Miesque Stakes at Hollywood Park in her finale as a 2-year-old on Nov. 26.

Chris DeCarlo, who rode Paddy's Daisy to victory in the Salem County Stakes at The Meadowlands' at 2, has again been given the call by trainer Todd Pletcher. The regular rider of Paddy's Daisy, John Velazquez, was to be at Oaklawn Park on Saturday to ride Afleet Alex in the Rebel Stakes.

Dynamite Lass has yet to finish worse than second in four starts on turf and, like Paddy's Daisy, had a brief lead in the Gaily Gaily before being overtaken by Cape Hope in the final furlong.

will make her 3-year-old debut. A lightly raced daughter of Dynaformer trained by Michael Dickinson, she won her maiden at first asking at The Meadowlands before finishing second as the 4-5 favorite over a yielding grass course when closing out her 2-year-old campaign in the Caressing Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 20.

Stakes winner Dansetta Light, the graded-stakes-placed K.D.'s Shady Lady, Mi Luna Nueva, Grat, Character Builder, Royal Bean, and Classy Charm round out the field.