12/23/2004 12:00AM

Christmas has standout in Danieltown


Hunch players searching for some holiday cheer ought to take a look at Sunday's entries for the Christmas Stakes, a $75,000 six-furlong sprint at Mountaineer Race Track. The name Peace and Joy practically jumps off the page.

In addition to being aptly named for a race in honor of Christmas, the 5-year-old Peace and Joy has decent credentials. He has won his last two starts and owns a 4-for-6 lifetime record at Mountaineer.

For traditional handicappers, however, it's hard to get past Danieltown.

The 3-year-old Danieltown, trained by the Kentucky-based Bernie Flint, has four wins and a second in five trips to Mountaineer. In his last two starts, he romped by 10 1/2 lengths in the Sophomore Sprint Championship, earning a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 110, and followed up with a wire-to-wire four-length win against older allowance runners to record a Beyer Figure of 104.

The Ben Feliciano-trained entry of Ameri Brilliance and Crossing Point figures to provide the sternest test for Danieltown.

Ameri Brilliance, scratched from last weekend's Grade 3 Gravesend Handicap at Aqueduct, beat Danieltown by 1 1/2 lengths going 4 1/2 furlongs in early August. The 7-year-old Crossing Point won last year's Christmas as the heavy favorite and returned to Mountaineer on July 4 to win the Mountain State Handicap.

Feliciano, who has named David McFadden to ride both Ameri Brilliance and Crossing Point, is likely to run only one horse.