11/23/2005 12:00AM

D. D. Night Star tough if she repeats her last effort

Email

D. D. Night Star, a claimer before finishing a close second in a rapidly run sprint stakes last out, should be formidable if she can duplicate her most recent performance in Friday night's $50,000 Blue Mountain Juvenile at Penn National.

The six-furlong race for Pennsylvania-bred 2-year-old fillies drew a field of 11.

Racing for a $25,000 claiming tag at Philadelphia Park, D. D. Night Star needed three starts to win her maiden with a mediocre 58 Beyer Speed Figure. She improved nearly 20 points two weeks later when she was beaten just 1 3/4 lengths by Smart and Fancy in a small restricted stakes.

That was the third consecutive victory and second straight stakes win for Smart and Fancy, who has now posted Beyers of 80, 80, and 79 since beginning her streak against maidens. Her other stakes victory came in the Maryland Million Lassie at Laurel.

D. D. Star, trained by Mark Fusco, will be tough to beat if she comes anywhere close to the 76 Beyer she earned last time out.

Her chief challenger appears to be Defiant Maid, a Todd Beattie-trained filly who easily won her career debut with a 66 Beyer at Penn National a month ago. Defiant Maid worked a bullet five furlongs in 59.40 seconds last Saturday.

Hailie's Girl, unbeaten in two starts, both against claimers, and Fantast, a $130,000 purchase at this year's Ocala Breeders' Sales March sale in Florida, are two other contenders.

Hailie's Girl, based at Philly Park with trainer Lupe Preciado, improved 20 points on the Beyer scale between her career debut and her first start against winners a month later.

Fantast, regarded highly enough by her connections to start in one stakes in New York and two others in New Jersey, was claimed by trainer Dave Geist for $35,000 out of a well-graded sprint win at The Meadowlands in mid-October. In her first start for Geist, Fantast challenged for the lead and tired against open first-level allowance runners.

Silver Heroine won her career debut for high-percentage trainer John Zimmerman. Her sire, Partner's Hero, was second in the Grade 3 Iroquois at 2, an indication his offspring may be precocious.

Based on pedigree, Peroxide Blond must be considered a contender, even though her only win came more than four months ago on the turf. Her dam, Sooty Star, won a minor stakes at 2 and was the runner-up in the Toddler and the Blue Hen that same year.