01/23/2004 12:00AM

Dutrow likes his filly's chances


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - When Island Sand won her maiden by 12 3/4 lengths last October at Laurel Park, trainer Tony Dutrow fast-forwarded to the winter and Aqueduct's series of stakes for 3-year-old fillies run over the inner track.

"I've been through the winter time with fillies up there before," Dutrow said. "It doesn't take a real star for these 3-year-old fillies to shine up there."

Dutrow doesn't profess to have a star in Island Sand, but she probably doesn't have to be one to beat her nine rivals in Sunday's $75,000 Busanda Stakes, run at a mile and 70 yards.

, a daughter of Tabasco Cat, could be a slight favorite in the Busanda. Two months after winning her maiden, Island Sand shipped up here to win an entry-level allowance Dec. 27. In that race, she hopped in the air at the start, stalked another horse for five furlongs, and repelled the challenges of Tigi and Becky in Pink in the stretch.

"I gave her a little break and hoped she'd take to the inner track, and she did," Dutrow said. "She was very game, and that led us to the Busanda."

Island Sand will likely need an off-the-pace type of trip to win the Busanda. Fond, the gate-to-wire winner of the Open Mind Stakes, breaks from the rail and will most likely set the early pace. She figures to get tested early by Georgetown Gal, a front-running maiden winner two weeks ago, and Leedle Dee, who won the East View Stakes in front-running fashion before encountering traffic trouble early in the Open Mind.

Chuck Lopez will ride Leedle Dee; Pablo Fragoso will ride Island Sand.

finished a fast-closing second to Fond in the Open Mind. Taittinger Rose has trained well in the interim and should work out a ground-saving trip from post 2 under Julian Pimentel.

Since finishing second to Island Sand in the aforementioned Oct. 29 race, Simple Affair has won two straight for trainer Valora Testerman. Simple Affair, a daughter of Deputy Commander, should also get a good trip from post 3 under Heberto Castillo Jr.

Trainer Guadalupe Preciado entered two in the race: Shamoiselle, who endured a wide trip when fourth in the Open Mind, and Darn Wild, a sprinter attempting to stretch out. Darn Wild is on the also-eligible list and would need a scratch to get in.

Fait Accompli, Tempting Note, and Via Sacra complete the field.