02/23/2007 12:00AM

Dreaming of Anna back on turf

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Deborah Kral/Horsephotos
Though she won the BC Juvenile Fillies on dirt, Dreaming of Anna may be better on the grass.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Dreaming of Anna, whose reputation and unblemished record were both tarnished with her third-place finish in the Old Hat Stakes, won't have much time to sulk over her first career setback. The Eclipse Award winner wheels right back in 15 days while returning to what may be her favorite surface when she goes 1 1/16 miles on the turf in Sunday's $100,000 Gaily Gaily Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

The Gaily Gaily for 3-year-old fillies shares top billing on Sunday's 10-race program with the $100,000 The Very One Handicap, a Grade 3 event for older fillies and mares carded at 1 3/8 miles on the grass.

Dreaming of Anna, racing as the 2-5 favorite, finished a tiring third behind the pacesetting Dream Rush going 6 1/2 furlongs over the main track in the Old Hat on Feb. 10. The outing was the first for Dreaming of Anna, a daughter of Rahy, since she closed out her perfect 2-year-old campaign with a wire-to-wire, 1 1/2-length triumph in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Even though Dreaming of Anna won the Breeders' Cup race on dirt, trainer Wayne Catalano has maintained all along that her best surface is turf. She won 2 of her 4 starts at 2 on the grass, including Woodbine's Grade 3 Summer Stakes against males.

"She scrambled leaving the gate and I don't think she cared for the racetrack in her first start back," Catalano said of the Old Hat. "I've always thought she was a turf horse, and I know after her last race we've got to be strictly grass and that's that."

Dreaming of Anna will not have an easy task in the Gaily Gaily, especially with a running style that has had her on the lead in each of her four previous victories. She figures to receive plenty of early pressure on the front end from stakes winners Pay Wright and Audacious Chloe, along with the promising Fanlight Fanny.

Pay Wright has won her last three starts on grass, all in gate-to-wire fashion, including two stakes. A daughter of French Envoy, Pay Wright has not started since capturing Calder's John Franks Juvenile Turf on Nov. 11.

Audacious Chloe has not started since being beaten a neck after leading throughout in Keeneland's Jessamine Stakes on Oct. 26.

"She's missed some training down here," said her trainer, Todd Pletcher. "She popped a splint that we had to freeze last month, but she puts a lot into her works and I expect her to be fit the first time back."

A lively pace could play into the hands of stretch runners Dantrelle Light, Communique, and Gatorize in the Gaily Gaily.

Pletcher figures to have the one to beat in the The Very One when he sends out Safari Queen for her 2007 debut. An Argentine-bred daughter of Lode, Safari Queen closed out her 2006 season winning by the Grade 2 Long Island and Grade 2 La Prevoyante handicaps. Both were run at 1 1/2 miles - the Long Island over a good turf course at Aqueduct, the La Prevoyante on a sloppy main track at Calder.

"We've obviously found what she wants to do since stretching her out to a mile and one-half," said Pletcher, who trains Safari Queen for Alan Cohen's Arindel Farm. "Although I think a mile and three-eighths should be well within her grasp."

Royal Highness will have a chance in the The Very One to avenge her half-length setback at the hands of Safari Queen in the Long Island. The outing was just the second in this country for the German-bred Royal Highness, who also finished third behind English Channel in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic in her first start outside of France.

Barancella also gets another crack at Safari Queen, this time over her favorite surface, after finishing a distant second in the slop in the La Prevoyante. The French-bred Barancella had finished second in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes in her previous outing.