11/25/2005 12:00AM

Fleet Indian poised to win first stakes


OZONE PARK, N.Y - After Fleet Indian began her career with four consecutive victories, trainer Jimmy Toner certainly thought she would have won a stakes race by now, the end of her 4-year-old season.

But enters Sunday's $75,000 Montauk Handicap at Aqueduct still in search of that first stakes score, something she looks poised to accomplish in the nine-furlong Montauk, a race restricted to New York-bred fillies and mares. The Montauk, which drew a field of six, heads the final program conducted on the main track. Racing moves to the inner dirt on Wednesday.

Since winning her first four starts last year, Fleet Indian has gone 1 for 6, the one being an allowance win at Belmont on Sept. 30. Toner believes there are legitimate excuses for Fleet Indian's poor performances. Two of those races - including an eighth-place finish in last month's Iroquois Handicap - were run over sloppy tracks.

"She's a big, heavy, long-striding filly, and she's just not comfortable on off going," Toner said.

Fleet Indian ended her 3-year-old campaign with a fourth-place finish in the 2004 Iroquois Handicap, a race in which she stumbled at the start. The worst race in Fleet Indian's career came when she finished last in a second-level allowance race at Saratoga in August. Toner said Fleet Indian came down with a case of colic the night of that race.

Fleet Indian shows two solid works since her last race and has Toner believing she is ready for a peak effort on Sunday.

"She came out of the race good, she's trained good, she's done everything we've wanted her to do," Toner said. "As long as the weather is good and it's a dry track, I feel very comfortable."

John Velazquez rides Fleet Indian, who will break from the rail.

has won her last two dirt starts and has not finished worse than third in her last eight races. Lone Tree will stretch out to 1 1/8 miles for the first time, but trainer Mike Hushion believes "the distance will be good for her."

Hushion has named Channing Hill to ride, but he may have to find a replacement, as Hill was one of three jockeys involved in a spill Friday at Aqueduct. Hill was not seriously injured, but could miss the weekend.

Trainer Richard Schosberg may need a new rider for The Lamp Is Lit, as Pablo Morales was also involved in that spill. is 1 for 1 on dirt at Aqueduct, taking a one-mile maiden race in March 2004.