03/05/2006 12:00AM

Fast track makes difference in Gulf's Bonnie Miss, Forward Gal

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Ryan McAlinden / EQUI-PHOTO
Teammate, and jockey Cornelio Velasquez, run to victory in the Grade II $150,000 Bonnie Miss Stakes on Sunday at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - What a difference a month and a dry track makes.

In their last starts, run over a sloppy track on Feb. 4, Teammate finished 14 lengths behind Wait A While in the Grade 2 Davona Dale Stakes and Miraculous Miss finished 7.5 lengths behind Misty Rosette in the Grade 3 Old Hat. But over a fast track at Gulfstream Park on Sunday, Teammate avenged that setback with a convincing six length win over Wonder Lady Ann L. And Wait A While in the Grade 2 .

Teammate led throughout under jockey Cornelio Velasquez then drew away with authority through the stretch to register her first stakes victory in the one mile and one eighth Bonnie Miss. Wonder Lady Ann L. outfinished the even money Wait A While by a head to finish second. They in turn were followed by Smart N Pretty, Better Now, Mia?s Reflection and a disappointing French Park.

Teammate, who raced on Lasix for the first time in the Bonnie Miss, ran the distance in 1:48.25 seconds and paid $12.40.

"It was muddy last time and she was behind a lot of dirt that day," said Allen Jerkens who trains Teammate for owner Joseph Allen. "She bled just a little last time so I I gave her a tiny bit of Lasix because I thought it might help her and next time it could be much worse. I didn?t think she?d be on the lead and I didn?t tell the jock to go to the front. I left that up to him."

Wait A While, who won the Davona Dale by 14 lengths over the sloppy track, raced well placed behind the winner but did not have the same late burst she had over the sloppy track one month earlier.

Miraculous Miss raced at the rear of the pack for the opening half mile of the seven furlong Forward Gal then circled five wide into the stretch while commencing her bid before easily wearing down the leaders to win going away. India, who rated off the early pace after breaking awkwardly, raced wide while challenging into the stretch and outfinished Misty Rosette by a half length for second.

Misty Rosette, an easy winner of each of her three previous starts including the Old Hat, made a quick move to challenge for command midway down the backstretch, was clear entering the stretch but faltered gradually in the final furlong.

Miraculous Miss returned $38.60 after covering the distance in 1:22.78 seconds.

"No doubt the fast racetrack made the difference," said Steve Klesaris who owns Miraculous Miss in partnership with the Puglisi Stables. "She spun her wheels in the slop last time. I could see she was in trouble in the Old Hat after an eighth of a mile when the jockey was scrubbing on her and she was going nowhere. A lot of horses didn't run that day and we were one of them."

Klesaris said the Grade 2, one mile Comely Stakes at Aqueduct on April 15 could be Miraculous Miss' next start.