03/22/2006 1:00AM

'Daytime' seeking amends


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Given all his success at this meet, trainer Gary Contessa would be hard-pressed to pick out his favorite moment of the winter. His biggest disappointment, however, is much easier to pinpoint.

That occurred on Feb. 26, when had a brutal trip and finished third as the 4-5 favorite in the Busher Stakes. It ended a two-race winning streak for Daytime Promise, who had won the Busanda two starts back.

Friday, Contessa seeks to erase the memory of the Busher when he runs Daytime Promise against seven rivals in the $60,000 Wayward Lass Stakes going one mile over Aqueduct's inner track.

In the Busher, Norberto Arroyo Jr. tried to save ground with Daytime Promise. But she got buried on the rail, and by the time Arroyo found some running room, it was too late, and Daytime Promise was beaten 1 1/4 lengths by Regal Engagement.

"I was so disappointed after her last race - not in her, just in the situation with the traffic - that I really need to get her back in the winner's circle," Contessa, who has won 57 races this meet, said Wednesday from the Ocala Breeders' Sales horse auction in Florida. "I really felt she deserved to win. I want to erase the memories of her last start."

Though Contessa said he felt Arroyo tried to do the right thing by saving ground, he is making a rider change to Ramon Dominguez for the Wayward Lass.

"No knock on Arroyo, but if you can get Dominguez right now you got to get him," said Contessa.

Daytime Promise will break from post 2 as the 123-pound highweight.

Two other runners from the Busher - - figure prominently in the Wayward Lass, which can be used as a stepping-stone to the Grade 3 Comely Stakes, run over the main track on April 15.

Trendy Lady set the pace in the Busher and had a 2 1/2-length lead in midstretch before being run down late by Regal Engagement, who won by a neck.

"She ran an extremely good race for the first time around two turns," said Seth Benzel, assistant to Todd Pletcher, trainer of Trendy Lady. "She was fighting the whole way, just gave way the last part of it."

Trendy Lady may have to deal with pressure from Red Damask, Fifth Avenue, and Pure Disco.

Last Romance finished second behind Daytime Promise in the Busanda and fourth in the Busher.