03/25/2005 12:00AM

First U.S. start for Miss Victory comes in sprint


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Miss Victory, an 11-time stakes winner in her native Argentina, will make her U.S. debut in Sunday's $46,000 allowance feature at Gulfstream Park. The five-furlong turf dash for fillies and mares is the highlight of an 10-race Easter Sunday card.

was a five-furlong specialist in Argentina equally adept on turf and dirt. She was sent to trainer Maria Virginia Pascual at Palm Meadows, where she has been working steadily for her first start since July 2004. Cornelio Velasquez will have the mount.

"She should be ready, even though she hasn't raced for a long time, although sometimes you never know how a horse will run first time in this country," said Pascual.

Miss Victory has raced with the lead in most of her starts, but Pascual said speed horses in Argentina aren't always as quick as their U.S. counterparts.

"Speed over there isn't always the same as speed here, but she is pretty fast, and from post 2 she should be there from the start," said Pascual.

Miss Victory is one of several in the field making their 2005 debuts. Melody of Colors and Nicole's Dream, a pair of five-furlong turf specialists, have been idle since the fall but have been training well for their return.

won 3 of 10 starts a year ago, including the Bob Slater Stakes here in April. Trained by Tim Hills for owner and breeder Larry Foggle, Melody of Colors has enough tactical speed to be close to what figures to be a very fast pace and also can pass horses and win without the lead.

is rarely headed early going five furlongs and, like Melody of Colors, was a two-time stakes winner in 2004. Nicole's Dream has not started since finishing fourth after setting the pace to midstretch in the Pent Up Kiss Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 13.

Ahuriri Hikawai, a New Zealand-bred, ran down Nicole's Dream in a Churchill Downs allowance race to register her only victory of last season. She finished off the board in two stakes starts earlier this winter.

Platinum Perfect, victorious in 3 of her 4 career starts, is another with a high turn of early speed. She will try grass for the first time Sunday and also figures to contest the early fractions.

Slewville, Our Exploit, No Llores Catita, and Kurlicue round out the starting lineup.