02/24/2004 12:00AM

Comeawaywithme holds pace edge

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HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - There is no shortage of speed in Thursday's ninth race at Oaklawn Park, which makes Comeawaywithme, a filly who can stalk and pounce, appealing. She will take on seven others in the six-furlong allowance, which is restricted to 3-year-old fillies who have never won two races. The purse is $32,000.

Others in the field include Brigette's Dream, a maiden winner at Churchill Downs, and Golden Aura, who exits a race that produced the winner of Sunday's feature race here, Tee's Pearl.

Comeawaywithme stalked the pace when she won her debut Nov. 29 at Fair Grounds. She raced in fourth place early, then went on to a 2 3/4-length win. Comeawaywithme did not start again until Feb. 1, when she pushed a hot pace and was overtaken late, finishing third in a one-other-than allowance at Oaklawn, which is her last start.

"I think we'll see a better filly this time," said Steve Asmussen, who trains Comeawaywithme. "I think she was too sharp last time. She hadn't run in a while. The few spots that we planned on running her, she didn't get in.

"Hopefully, she'll settle better."

Comeawaywithme drew well, situated outside of the race's speed horses in post 7. John McKee, the leading rider at Oaklawn, has the mount on the filly for owner-breeder Stephen Baker.

Brigette's Dream is a threat. She dueled throughout when she won her debut at Churchill on Oct. 26, and in her most recent start set the early pace and finished third to the impressive Miss Concerto in an entry-level allowance at Oaklawn on Feb. 15.

Brigette's Dream figures to be prominent again Thursday under apprentice Justin Shepherd. He takes over for second-leading rider Terry Thompson, who is serving a seven-day suspension for a riding infraction that led to the disqualification of one of his mounts, D M Special, from third to seventh in the fourth race Feb. 19.

Thompson's suspension runs through Sunday, but he can ride in designated races.

Larry Jones trains Brigette's Dream for Dreamchaster Thorobreds, and has said he believes the filly has the quality to develop into a stakes performer. She is a daughter of Gulch.

Golden Era exits a $30,000 starter allowance won by Yoursmineandours, who returned in her next start to finish third in the $50,000 Martha Washington at Oaklawn. Golden Aura finished fourth in that six-furlong starter allowance, after showing good speed in a race that was timed in a brisk 1:10.

Golden Era will break from the rail under Joe Johnson. Gary Hartlage trains Golden Aura for Anita Ebert.