05/06/2004 11:00PM

Daydreaming aims at Mother Goose


ELMONT, N.Y. - Following Daydreaming's facile win in a second-level allowance race on Thursday, trainer Shug McGaughey said the 3-year-old filly would be pointed to the Grade 1 Mother Goose at Belmont Park on June 26.

Daydreaming, a daughter of A.P. Indy, won the 1 1/16-mile race by nine lengths after displaying an incredible burst of acceleration in the stretch. She covered the distance in 1:42.74 over a fast track and earned a 97 Beyer Speed Figure.

Had Thursday's allowance race not filled, McGaughey was going to run Daydreaming in the $200,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico next Friday. Considering her performance in the allowance race, McGaughey might have wished he ran her in the Black-Eyed Susan.

"I was very pleased with her race," McGaughey said. "I've always thought she would be okay. We had some minor problems with her as a 2-year-old."

McGaughey said one wrinkle in waiting for the Mother Goose, which will be run 52 days after Daydreaming's allowance win, is the timing.

"She doesn't need that much time off, so I can't rule out running in the Acorn," he said. "I will nominate to the Acorn."

One of the reasons that McGaughey isn't terribly keen on committing to the $250,000 Acorn on June 4 is that Daydreaming would have to drop back to a mile. "I think she will become more settled as she goes longer," McGaughey said.

If McGaughey decides to run Daydreaming in the Acorn, she would face stablemate La Reina.

Seven stakes winners face off in feature

Sunday's seventh race, a $56,000 optional claimer, might be the toughest on the card. Each of the horses entered in the mile turf race is a stakes winner. None of the seven runners was entered to be claimed.

The field includes Chilly Rooster and Union Place, the winner and runner-up in the Grade 3 Fort Marcy last month at Aqueduct. Quantum Merit, who won the Ashley T. Cole Handicap at Belmont last year, makes his first start of the year. Quiet Ruler, who won the Mohawk Handicap at Belmont the last two years, prepped for this by finishing third in a steeplechase race in April.

The likely favorite is Miesque's Approval, who finished second behind Wando in an allowance race at Keeneland in April.

Graded-stakes winners Fast Decision and Pisces complete the field. Almuhathir and Aggadan were entered main-track only.

Ward brings eight horses east for spring

Trainer Wesley Ward, who has a large training and breeding operation in California, has brought eight horses to New York for Belmont's spring meet. Six of the horses are co-owned by Ward and Roger King of King World Productions, which syndicates dozens of top-rated television shows, including "CSI: Miami" and the popular game show "Jeopardy!"

One of the horses in New York owned by Ward and King is Lifestyle, whom Ward is very high on. Lifestyle will run in a first-level allowance race at seven furlongs on Sunday's card. A 4-year-old son of Indian Charlie, Lifestyle was bought by Ward and King out of The Thoroughbred Corp.'s dispersal sale at Barretts in March for $300,000. The Thoroughbred Corp. originally bought the horse as a yearling for $1.1 million at Keeneland.

In his career debut on March 12, Lifestyle won a maiden race at Gulfstream Park by 9 3/4 lengths and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 100.

"He won as easy as any horse I've ridden or trained," said Ward, a former jockey. "I'm really excited about Sunday."

Ward also will run Bear Fan, a horse he co-owns with Peter Fan, in Sunday's $150,000 Genuine Risk Handicap.

Pletcher now training for 'Paulie'

Several cast members from the hit HBO series "The Sopranos" have come to Belmont to shoot scenes for the show. But on Friday, one of the stars of the show, Tony Sirico, who plays Paulie Walnuts, was at Belmont playing himself.

During training hours, Sirico visited with trainer Todd Pletcher, who will train a 2-year-old colt for the actor. Sirico recently bought a New York-bred son of Tomorrows Cat who will arrive in Pletcher's barn in a couple of weeks.