07/05/2007 11:00PM

For Distorted Reality, today may be the day


ELMONT, N.Y. - The way he won his first two races on turf, it looked like Distorted Reality was destined to become a stakes winner.

After two failed attempts in graded stakes, destiny could come calling Sunday when Distorted Reality meets five 3-year-olds in the $100,000 Lexington Stakes at 1 1/8 miles over Belmont Park's inner turf course.

Distorted Reality, a son of Distorted Humor trained by Todd Pletcher, looked sensational winning a maiden race at Gulfstream and a first-level allowance race at Keeneland. In the Grade 3 Crown Royal American Turf at Churchill Downs, Distorted Reality caught a yielding turf and finished fifth, beaten 1 1/2 lengths by Duveen. Last out, in the Grade 3 Hill Prince, Distorted Reality won the pace battle with Storm in May but couldn't hold off the late-running favorite, Marcavelly, and lost by 1 1/4 lengths.

Sunday, Distorted Reality should be the favorite, and though he looks like the main speed in the short field, Pletcher is hoping to get him to settle, which is why he is taking the blinkers off the colt.

"He was a little green early on and we were trying to get him over that, but I don't think he needs them anymore," Pletcher said. "Hopefully, it'll keep him from getting rank, but it won't take away his natural speed."

Distorted Reality breaks from post 3 under John Velazquez. All six runners carry 117 pounds.

Pays to Dream, a son of High Yield, won three consecutive turf races against New York-bred company in the spring. In his first attempt against open company, Pays to Dream finished third in a first-level allowance race going 1 1/4 miles. Trainer David Donk hopes the cutback to 1 1/8 miles will benefit Pays to Dream.

"Last time we were going a mile and a quarter and there was a lone speed and we had to move a little early," said Donk, whose gelding breaks from the outside post under Javier Castellano.

Three of the entrants in the Lexington are coming off a victory in their turf debut. Perusal, trained by Shug McGaughey, showed a good turn of foot in winning his maiden on June 10. Mission Approved won a New York-bred second-level turf allowance race and meets open company for the first time. Ambassador has a win and two seconds from three turf starts.