01/14/2003 12:00AM

Fillies try to make pop proud


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Their fathers experienced the most glorious moments of their careers at Gulfstream Park, but all dads' daughters are trying to do Thursday is make it through their first allowance condition.

Yell, by A.P. Indy, and Bird Town, by Cape Town, are the principals in the Thursday feature, a $34,000 allowance carded as the ninth of 10 races. Their sires earned great acclaim at Gulfstream in the 1990's: A.P. Indy drove to victory and a Horse of the Year title by winning the 1992 Breeders' Cup Classic, and Cape Town posted the richest victory of his career when awarded the 1998 Florida Derby on the disqualification of Lil's Lad.

The stakes in the Thursday feature, which goes at a mile and 70 yards, are far more modest, yet a good race by either Yell or Bird Town quite possibly could put them on the road to bigger things.

Yell, a homebred owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, has started just twice, but both were solid efforts. After running third in her Nov. 8 debut at Aqueduct, Yell was narrowly beaten three weeks later in a similar spot, only to be named the winner minutes later after the first-place finisher was disqualified by the New York stewards for interference.

Since that race, Yell has maintained a steady clip at Payson Park, the quiet training center located nearly 100 miles northwest of Gulfstream. Shug McGaughey has named John Velazquez to ride Yell, who will start from post 5 in a field of seven 3-year-old fillies.

Bird Town, a homebred owned by Marylou Whitney, is more accomplished than Yell and thus may be the crowd favorite under Pat Day. After winning a Churchill Downs maiden race in her second career start, Bird Town was upset at 2-5 in her first crack at the allowance level on Nov. 23 at the Louisville track. After trainer Nick Zito shipped her south for the winter, she finished a solid third as the 7-5 favorite in the $100,000 Three Ring Stakes at Calder on Dec. 14.

Tae Bo, an 11-length maiden winner last out for trainer Michael Matz, appears to be the best of the rest of the field.

Probably the best betting race of the day is the eighth, a $50,000 claiming route that drew a full field of seasoned turf runners. Gulfstream also has carded a rare maiden-claiming race on the turf as the last race.

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