01/12/2009 1:00AM

Faithful One pays dividends


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - When someone brought Faithful One to trainer Bruce Levine's attention for possible purchase, Levine felt that if she could be had "for $50,000 or less we'll be all right,'' he said.

Bill Hirsch's Trackmen Golf Club Stable was able to get her for around that price, and with a win and a second from two starts, Levine's assessment has been correct. Wednesday, Faithful One will try to make it 2 for 3 when she runs in a $43,000 starter allowance race at six furlongs, the co-feature on Aqueduct's nine-race program.

Faithful One's race is open to 3-year-old fillies that have won a maiden race for a $50,000 claiming tag or less. The other starter allowance, at a mile, is for 3-year-old fillies that have won a maiden race for a $75,000 tag or less.

Faithful One began her career at Woodbine, where she raced six times on Polytrack with three second-place finishes. She came to Levine in October, and on Nov. 2 she finished second in a maiden claiming $50,000 race over Aqueduct's main track. Twenty-five days later, for the same price, she came from off the pace to win, twice encountering trouble.

"She got in a little trouble that day,'' Levine said, noting the runner-up, "came out on her at the end.''

Levine said he was a bit surprised that Faithful One was victorious from off the pace.

"I was surprised she didn't show as much speed the second time,'' he said. "First time, she battled all the way, then some first-time starter got the benefit of a speed duel.''

Spina and She's My Fortune look like the main threats to Faithful One. Spina won a $50,000 maiden claiming race at Saratoga on dirt by 4 1/2 lengths first time out and has competed in two turf stakes since. She returns to dirt for trainer David Donk and jockey Chuck Lopez, the same connections that won last Saturday's Busanda Stakes.

"I feel she's a little too rank early going long, so on purpose I'm sprinting her,'' Donk said.

She's My Fortune, trained by Tony Dutrow, finished second to 6-5 favorite China Wavered in a similar spot as this on Dec 3 after winning her debut for $50,000 claiming at Delaware in September.

In the third race, Dutrow sends out Steady Play, who comes off a solid 3o3/4-length win when dropped in for a tag on Nov. 9 at Delaware. Sister Kathleen could bounce back after not being persevered with following a poor break in her last.