08/08/2004 11:00PM

Foreign-bred foursome fearsome in De La Rose


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The inaugural running of the $65,000 De La Rose Stakes drew such an overwhelming response from horsemen that the racing office felt compelled to split Wednesday's feature at Saratoga into two divisions.

Each division of the one-mile turf race for fillies and mares drew the maximum 10 runners with a couple of main-track only entrants in the event that rain forces the race to be moved to the main track and run at nine furlongs.

Race 8 is the deeper of the two divisions. Four foreign-bred fillies and mares - three of whom have already had success in this country - head the field.

Trainer Michael Matz is extremely high on the Brazilian-bred High Court, who has won 6 of 10 starts, including a Group 1 race in Brazil. He made an auspicious North American debut, winning the Fort Monmouth Stakes on May 30. Matz was unhappy with the ride he got when High Court finished fourth in the Grade 3 Eatontown Handicap. Ramon Dominguez takes over for Chris DeCarlo on Wednesday.

"She's a good filly," Matz said, before pointing to the running lines of her last race. "This was not her fault."

, a Great Britain-bred, has won four consecutive races dating back to a minor stakes last December at Fair Grounds. Trainer Christophe Clement has been conservative with this filly, and said he might take his graded stakes shots in the fall.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin sends out the Argentine Group 3 winner for her North American debut. Super Brand is a half-sister to Trademark, who McLaughlin saddled to a pair of graded stakes wins here last summer. Super Brand finished second against males in her last start in February in Dubai. She gets Lasix and Jerry Bailey for the first time.

"We're anxious to get her started, she's trained extremely well," McLaughlin said. "We think she's a graded stakes filly."

looms a solid favorite in the first division of the De La Rose, which goes as race 6. A 4-year-old daughter of Awesome Again, Personal Legend has placed in four graded stakes races, and is coming off a second-level allowance win at Belmont on May 31.

Trainer Bobby Frankel said Personal Legend wasn't nearly at her best that day, and believes the 10 weeks she's had between races have done her good.

"She got a little light on me and she was a real rat in the paddock," Frankel said. "I thought we got away with murder when she won that day because I knew she didn't run her best race. I sent her to Saratoga and told them to put some weight on her and let her settle down. She's training great. She's the class if she runs her race."

Trainer Lisa Lewis scratched Seven Moons out of a second-level allowance race on Saturday to run in the De La Rose. Seven Moons is 2 for 3 on turf with her only loss coming to Seducer's Song, who won the Lake George here on Aug. 2.

Lojo, Lady Linda, and Something Ventured are other top contenders in the first division of the De La Rose.