01/25/2005 1:00AM

'Destiny' does well at this level


NEW ORLEANS - Destiny Calls will try to return to her winning ways against a field of nine in Thursday's feature race at Fair Grounds, a $36,500 allowance for Louisiana-bred fillies and mares at about 7 1/2 furlongs on the turf.

The 5-year-old Destiny Calls has an outstanding record at Fair Grounds, where she has been worse than second in only one of 10 starts. Unfortunately, that was her last race, another turf sprint, in which she was outrun by the top open-company female grass sprinters on the grounds, including Leggio winner Ambition Unbridled.

had been lights out against Louisiana-breds until she ran into super filly Happy Ticket in the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies, where she finished a game second.

"That race, and the race before when she ran on a very tiring surface, took something out of her," said trainer Gary Palmisano. "We probably shouldn't even have run her in that last race. That knocked her back even further. But she's doing all right now."

Palmisano is willing to give Destiny Calls another chance over a surface where she won easily twice at the last meeting, including a front-running score in the $100,000 Red Camelia Handicap.

Palmisano will give the mount to Brian Hernandez Jr. Lonnie Meche rode Destiny Calls in her last start.

Her main rival appears to be , who was ambitiously placed against males in the Champions Day Turf but handled statebred fillies easily in her previous race, the Matchmaker Stakes at Louisiana Downs.

finished second to Destiny Calls on the dirt in November, but grass seems to suit her better. Her last victory was over this distance on turf at Louisiana Downs.

Vitamin Bag earned a spot in this field after a game front-end score earlier this month in a two-other-than allowance race.

Intractabie ran second behind Katlin's Rocket in the Matchmaker and has a win at the distance over the Fair Grounds turf course.

K Brown finished third to Destiny Calls in the Red Camelia, but has never won in seven grass starts.