08/02/2007 12:00AM

Dream Rush vs. Cotton Blossom in Test


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Dream Rush looks to solidify her status as the top 3-year-old sprinting filly in the country when she takes on 12 rivals in Saturday's Grade 1, $250,000 Test Stakes at Saratoga.

Dream Rush has won three graded stakes this year, including the Grade 1 Prioress in her last start. Two starts back, in the Acorn, she was beaten one length by Cotton Blossom, who figures to be Dream Rush's major rival in the Test. Dream Rush, the 122-pound highweight, will break from post 7 under Eibar Coa.

Dream Rush's best weapon is her brilliant speed. She sat off a longshot, Ticket to Seattle, through the opening stages of the Prioress before taking over after running a quarter in 22.13 seconds. Dream Rush continued to widen before being slightly geared down late.

"She's obviously a special filly and you have confidence she'll show up again," trainer Rick Violette said. "The ones that hook her do so at their own peril, everybody knows that. There were some fast fillies in that last race and she dragged Eibar to the lead."

Violette believes Dream Rush was "too hard into the bridle" in the Acorn, which may have forced her to go too fast too early. Still, he believes Cotton Blossom ran the race of her life that day. Violette believes Dream Rush's career-best race was the Grade 2 Nassau County, which was run at seven furlongs, the same distance as the Test.

There was some controversy at the post position draw for the Test. It was originally drawn with 12 runners as High Again was inadvertently left out of the field. The race was redrawn and some contenders drew significantly different posts.

Silver Knockers, a filly who has been saddled with an inside draw in four of six starts, originally had post 12. Now, she'll break from the rail, a post Nick Zito did not want.

"I'm not too happy about it," Zito said. "It's a Grade 1 race, I'd like to know how you could forget to a put the horse in."

Cotton Blossom, who beat Dream Rush in the Acorn, went from post 3 to post 13.

"I guess the way the track's been playing it might be a blessing," trainer Todd Pletcher said, referring to a closers' bias. "It's no worse than Lawyer Ron drawing post 11 going a mile and an eighth."

Cotton Blossom will seek to bounce back from a third-place finish in the Delaware Oaks.