10/09/2002 11:00PM

Cassidy soft spot for 'Lass'


MIAMI - The undefeated Lavender Lass would have likely been the second choice in the wagering behind Ivanavinalot in the $400,000 My Dear Girl Stakes had trainer Bill White opted to run her. But White, Calder's perennial leading trainer, decided he would rather start her as the odds-on favorite in the $75,000 Cassidy Stakes, a six-furlong dash for 2-year-old fillies that is part of the undercard for Saturday's $1.65 million Festival of the Sun program.

Lavender Lass won her debut by 11 lengths, then withstood early pace pressure before edging off to a two-length decision over entry-level allowance company. A daughter of Skip Trial, Lavender Lass earned Beyer Speed Figures of 83 and 86 for her victories.

"The Cassidy is the safer play right now," said White, adding that the race will prepare Lavender Lass for the $150,000 Joe O'Farrell Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 16. "I'm not ducking Ivanavinalot, I'm just doing what gives my filly the best chance to win and get ready for her next race."

Lavender Lass will likely face another early test for the lead with speedsters Hummel and Beautiful Honor in the field. Beautiful Honor earned a 96 Beyer Figure winning a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight dash two weeks ago.

If the speed does back up, Running Debate and Crafty Brat should pick up the pieces. Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. decided to pass the My Dear Girl with Running Debate, who finished third and fourth in the opening legs of the Stallion Stakes.

The $75,000 Birdonthewire also will be run Saturday. Super Fuse and Hear No Evil will likely vie for favoritism in the six-furlong Birdonthewire.

Super Fuse earned a 99 Beyer winning his career debut here on Aug. 3. After finishing fifth following trouble at the start of Delaware Park's NATC Futurity, Super Fuse returned home and won a seven-furlong entry level allowance race on Sept. 26.

Super Fuse, a Kentucky-bred, will run for only $35,000 because $40,000 of the purse comes from the Florida Owners and Breeders Fund and is paid out only to registered Florida-breds.

Hear No Evil, the division leader here after registering three straight victories, including a half-length win in the Criterium Stakes, returns home following an unsuccessful trip north. A son of Carson City, Hear No Evil worked five furlongs from the gate in 59 seconds recently.