05/27/2004 11:00PM

Dogwood easier spot for Stellar Jayne


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Kentucky Oaks usually has a slight carryover effect on the subsequent two-turn stakes for 3-year-old fillies at the Churchill Downs spring meet, and that seems to be the case again this year with the $150,000 Dogwood Breeders' Cup Stakes.

Seven fillies were entered in the Grade 3 Dogwood, which will be run for the 30th time Sunday, and several key contenders have a sideways-or-better connection to the Oaks, which was run four weeks ago.

, who drew post 6 in the 1 1/16-mile Dogwood, finished seventh in the Oaks, and two other Dogwood starters, Miss Coronado (post 2) and Galloping Gal (post 3), had been under serious consideration for the Oaks before dropping out. Yet another Dogwood starter, Ender's Sister (post 1), finished a game second in the La Troienne Stakes, which is run the day before the Oaks every year.

Stellar Jayne has lost seven straight coming into Saturday, although she has been facing rugged competition.

"We've really stepped up, and we've tried some of those Grade 1's," said D. Wayne Lukas, who trains Stellar Jayne. "Now if we can just drop back a little bit and avoid some of those heavy heads, I think it might help her a lot."

Ender's Sister not only drew the rail, but also will be ridden by Pat Day, which, considering the well-matched look of this field, may tilt favoritism slightly in her favor. Trained by Rusty Arnold and Arnold's Kentucky-based assistant, Jack Bohannan, Ender's Sister won four straight races over the winter, capped by the March 14 Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs, before finishing second in the La Troienne.

will try to rebound off back-to-back disappointing efforts, having run eighth in the Fantasy Stakes, then fourth as the odds-on favorite in an April 25 turf allowance at Churchill.

Galloping Gal has done her best work on grass, having won the Edgewood Stakes in her most recent start, but she has respectable dirt form, too.

The rest of the Dogwood field is Dynaville, Family Business, and Silver Wench.

Island Sand (second in the Oaks) and Victory U. S. A. (fourth) passed the Dogwood to run instead next Friday in the Grade 1 Acorn at Belmont Park.

The Dogwood goes as the ninth of 10 races on a Sunday card that begins at 1:15 p.m.