04/21/2005 11:00PM

Dream of Summer faces one threat

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Two weeks after recording the most prestigious victory of her career in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park, Dream of Summer will be a strong favorite when she starts in the $150,000 B. Thoughtful Stakes at Hollywood Park.

Going from one of the nation's top stakes for older females to the B. Thoughtful for statebred fillies and mares would seem to be a slam-dunk opportunity for Dream of Summer's fifth stakes win. It might be. But the presence of Alphabet Kisses, who won the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies last December, could make for an interesting stretch duel between the pair.

Then again, if runs back to her devastating victory in the Grade 2 A Gleam Handicap here last July, there will not be much suspense at the finish.

Owned and bred by James Weigel, Dream of Summer is proven over sprint distances, which gives trainer Juan Garcia confidence that she can handle the reduction in distance from the Apple Blossom's 1 1/16 miles to the seven furlongs of the B. Thoughtful.

"I don't worry about the distance," he said. "In three or four jumps from the gate, she'll be running."

In the days after the Apple Blossom, Garcia said the B. Thoughtful Stakes would be Dream of Summer's next start because he prefers to race her in California as opposed to shipping to Churchill Downs for the Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap on May 6. He said she has rebounded quickly from the Apple Blossom, which improved her record to 8 wins in 13 starts and earnings of $844,650.

"She's all set. She lost a little weight, but after six or seven days she put it back," Garcia said. "She's in good shape."

Alphabet Kisses would have been a standout in the B. Thoughtful were it not for Dream of Summer. Owned and bred by Harris Farms, and trained by Marty Jones, Alphabet Kisses has won half of her 10 starts and $366,910.

After winning the La Brea on Dec. 27, she returned a month later to finish fourth in the Sunshine Millions Distaff over 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 29. Jones gave Alphabet Kisses the late winter off and pointed for what he hopes will be her second win on Gold Rush Day. Last year, Alphabet Kisses won the Magali Farms Stakes for maidens by 6 1/2 lengths.

"That little break helped, and she's always run well at Hollywood Park," Jones said.

Dream of Summer and Alphabet Kisses have seven rivals. A win by any of the others would be a shock.