06/23/2005 11:00PM

Frost Princess seeks Colonial steppingstone

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Frost Princess most recently won the Pearl Necklace on June 4.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Trainer Hamilton Smith, who won the inaugural running of the Virginia Oaks with Art Fan last year at Colonial Downs, hopes that Frost Princess will give him another shot at the $200,000 stakes for 3-year-old fillies on the turf on July 16.

To get to that point, Frost Princess must first pass a test Sunday at Monmouth Park: the $60,000 Little Silver Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Frost Princess has won her last two, both grass races at Pimlico. Her latest triumph came June 4 in the Pearl Necklace Stakes for Maryland-bred fillies.

The Little Silver offers an opportunity for Frost Princess to show her talent in open stakes company.

"We're hoping she can take another step forward for us," Smith said. "We're trying to get a read on her. We want to point her to the Colonial Downs stake, if she's good enough."

Frost Princess has blossomed on turf, where she has 3 wins in 4 starts. The gray Waquoit filly has struggled on the main track, going winless in four tries.

"It looks like she's going to strictly be a grass horse," Smith said. "Every time she runs on the grass, she runs real well. She has been on the improve in every race."

The condition of the course doesn't seem to matter, as Frost Princess has won over firm and yielding footing.

Smith planned to ship Frost Princess to Monmouth on Friday night. Stewart Elliott will ride for the first time.

Trainer Todd Pletcher will try to regroup with Ready's Gal in the Little Silver as she makes her turf debut. She closed out her juvenile season with a narrow loss in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont Park in October.

This year has been a struggle. Ready's Gal, winless in two starts this season, suffered a 20 1/4-length allowance loss as the 6-5 favorite last time out at Belmont Park. She has worked twice on the turf since that defeat.

Chris DeCarlo, the usual Pletcher pilot at Monmouth, will be aboard.

Who's Cozy has won two in a row on the grass at Belmont for trainer Linda Rice. Jose C. Ferrer will ride.

Joe Bravo, the meet's leading rider in overall victories and grass wins, picks up the mount on Connie Belle, who was moved up to an allowance victory when she was struck with a rival's whip last time out at Belmont.

Dynamist won her maiden first time out at The Meadowlands last fall for trainer Michael Dickinson. She is winless in four starts since then but did finish second in the Caressing Handicap at Churchill Downs in November.

Fairest Cape, Lil's Golden Crown, Lisaized, and Sidney's Angel Face complete the field.

Maragh sweeps Friday double

Jockey Rajiv Maragh got his Friday off to flying start by sweeping the early double with Call Anytime ($6.20) and Clear Terms ($2.80). The double was worth $8.40 and gave Maragh nine wins at the meet.

Maragh, now a journeyman, arrived in the middle of the Monmouth season last summer and won 19 races as an apprentice.

* Dennis Dowd, the senior vice president of racing for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, suffered a broken hip and underwent replacement surgery on Friday.