05/01/2007 12:00AM

Euro imports both classy


ELMONT, N.Y. - Time On and Pictavia, the fourth- and fifth-place finishers from Italy's Group 1 Premio Lydia Tesio last autumn and recently unveiled in the United States 24 hours apart at Gulfstream, meet again in Thursday's $65,000 Destiny Dance at Belmont Park.

Scheduled for 1 1/4 miles on the inner turf, the Destiny Dance drew a field of 10 fillies and mares. Of the eight turf-meant runners, all except Moon Dolly had their most recent turf race at Gulfstream Park. Most ran well in Florida, but company lines point out Pictavia and Time On, group stakes winner last summer in England and France, respectively, as the ones to beat.

Time On made her first start for Christophe Clement in the Orchid Handicap, and was a forward factor to midstretch before weakening to finish fourth behind Safari Queen, whose recent score in Keeneland's Bewitch was her fourth graded stakes win from her last five starts. La Dolce Vita, a neck in front of Time On for third in the Orchid, returned to win Calder's Hollywood Wildcat Breeders' Cup.

As tough as the Orchid was, Pictavia may have been in an even tougher spot 24 hours later when she stumbled at the break and rallied wide to finish third in the Magna Distaff, beaten just a length by the unbeaten Vacare, who is 5 for 5, including the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup last fall.

Pictavia is a three-time stakes winner at 1 1/4 miles, notably in the Group 3 Select against males, and probably found the 1 1/16 miles of the Magna Distaff a bit too short.

"She was pretty much a 9- to 11-furlong filly over there, so that was a good comeback race," said Rick Mettee, who oversees the Godolphin Racing string at Belmont for Saeed bin Suroor. "This bigger, wider course will probably suit her a little more, as will the added ground."

A good performance could propel Pictavia or Time On into the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay three weeks from Saturday.

Other contenders include Factual Contender, Cologne, and Hostess.

Teammate returns in allowance

Though she is still eligible for a second-level allowance, Teammate, the runner-up in last year's Alabama and Gazelle, will be favored for her 4-year-old debut in a third-level allowance at seven furlongs that goes as race 3.

Teammate, winless since wiring the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss 14 months ago and unraced since fading to fourth at 2-5 in Aqueduct's Turnback the Alarm last November, drew the outside post in a field of five.