04/26/2005 12:00AM

Childress right back for Dutrow


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Childress, who ran five days ago in the Bed o' Roses Handicap, appears the stronger half of an entry for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. in Thursday's featured eighth race, along with Really American, who hasn't been out in three months.

Last week or last January is irrelevant when it comes to Dutrow, whose win rate hovers around 25 percent either way. But Really American has been primarily a turf filly to this point, her one dirt victory coming in an off-the-turf route more than a year ago.

is an accomplished dirt performer. The 7-year-old mare has won 11 of 29 starts, including 7 of 13 at a mile, the distance of this third-level allowance with an optional claiming price of $75,000.

A multiple allowance winner, Childress has been entered for the $75,000 claiming price, as have Awesome Powers and Think Fast.

Childress was claimed from Dutrow out of a victory on Aqueduct's main track last fall, and he immediately reclaimed her next time out. She turned in two sharp performances at Gulfstream to start the year before returning to the Big A for a sixth-place finish in the Bed o' Roses.

Cornelio Velasquez, who won five races in his first week back on this circuit, is reunited with Childress, who breaks from the outside post in a field of eight older fillies and mares.

, who stumbled badly at the start of last month's Next Move Handicap, appears the likely pacesetter if she can regain the form of her two front-running scores on the inner track at this level for trainer Mike Hushion.

Think Fast, who ran a career-best Beyer Figure of 98 in her local debut, gets a switch back to apprentice Channing Hill, who was aboard for both midwinter scores.

Also in the field are Freeroll, , Take Me There, and Miss Ojea.

Thursday's seventh race is an entry-level allowance scheduled for the turf, and here handicappers are confronted with a situation common to early-season grass races in the Northeast: how to evaluate layoff horses.

Seven of the 10 horses in the main body of the race have been inactive for at least two months, including five who make their first starts of the year.

, second and fourth, respectively, in a recent clash at Gulfstream Park, could enjoy an edge in conditioning.

Also a threat is Baron Von Tap, who makes his seasonal debut for trainer Kristina Dupps. Last week, Dupps saddled returnee Pattiano to a 10-1 upset on this course.