06/28/2005 11:00PM

Fastidia out for first win in States


ELMONT, N.Y. - Fastidia will seek to break a case of seconditis on Friday when she heads a field of eight entered in the $46,000 featured entry-level allowance race scheduled for 1 1/4 miles on Belmont Park's inner turf course.

Fastidia, who made the first 11 starts of her career in Europe, has run second in all three of her North American starts. Her best race of the three came at this distance on May 18 when she stalked the early pace, took the lead at the top of the stretch, and was just outfinished by Surrey Down, losing by a head. Fastidia finished two lengths clear of the third-place horse, Baymont, who is back in this race.

made her next start on Belmont Stakes Day, finishing second behind the Bobby Frankel-trained Sagitta Ra in a nine-furlong allowance race.

Richard Migliore, aboard for Fastidia's last two starts, has the call again on Friday for Christophe Clement, who is the third-leading trainer at this meet with 13 wins.

Gijima and She's Sterling look like the two toughest challengers to Fastidia.

, a 4-year-old daughter of Red Ransom, has not been out since last Sept. 26, when she finished second behind Old Fashion Girl in an allowance race at Pimlico. Old Fashion Girl came back to win her next start, though she lost her next five.

Gijima recorded her only win from five career starts last May when she beat She's Sterling by three-quarters of a length over a good Belmont turf course. Michael Dickinson, who is 4 for 7 at this meet, and who excels bringing horses back off an extended layoff, trains Gijima. John Velazquez rides.

The two best races has run have come in marathons at Belmont Park. In addition to finishing second to Gijima last May, She's Sterling won her maiden at 1 3/8 miles over the Widener course in October. Her first two starts this year have been disappointing, though both races came at nine furlongs. Jerry Bailey rides for Bill Mott, the meet's leading trainer.

Baymont is the only multiple winner in the field, having won a pair of claiming races last summer over less-than-firm turf courses. She also owns a maiden win on dirt. Baymont, who will be ridden by Edgar Prado, would benefit from a contested pace.

With thunderstorms in the forecast, there is a chance this race could be transferred to the main track, and run at 1 1/8 miles. In that event, Devine Will looms the one to beat.