03/03/2003 12:00AM

Goosey Gander's edge is speed


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - An apparent lack of other speed, a stretch out in distance, and the presence of Jerry Bailey rate Goosey Gander a slight edge in Wednesday's featured third-level allowance race at Gulfstream Park.

The 1 3/8-mile turf race, which drew a field of nine, is one of the few bettable races on a nine-race card that includes four six-horse fields and two seven-horse fields.

Goosey Gander returned from a 104-day layoff on Feb. 5 and found herself in a speed duel with the stakes-winning Guana through six furlongs in 1:13.53. Goosey Gander eventually tired and finished seventh, but was beaten only 2 3/4 lengths by Clefairy in the 1 1/16-mile race.

Skiffington believes shorter distances work against Goosey Gander, whose last victory came at 10 furlongs over a yielding Belmont turf course in July. Bailey, who was aboard that day, hasn't ridden her since.

"She's a relentless galloper," Skiffington said. "Shorter distances, they out-foot her from the wire home. Going further, the pace isn't as fast and some horses like that, relentless gallopers, they're left alone and they keep on galloping. A closer uses their run just to catch up."

There doesn't appear to be another speed horse in this field, which makes Goosey Gander, who breaks from post 5, even more dangerous.

Two horses that finished ahead of Goosey Gander in that Feb. 5 race are back in on Wednesday. Bee My Honey rallied from the back of the pack to be second in her first start in two months. Bee My Honey's lone turf win came at 1 1/16 miles over yielding turf, making her a question mark at this distance.

Shouldn't We All, who finished in a dead-heat for third that day, has won at 10 furlongs and could be a threat in the lane under Chris DeCarlo.

Coming off a sharp second-level allowance win over this course on Jan. 20, Something Ventured figures to go off the favorite for the powerhouse connections of trainer Todd Pletcher and rider John Velazquez. In two attempts at 1 1/4 miles, Something Ventured finished behind Shouldn't We All and Goosey Gander.

After going 1 for his first 15, Introducer has won two consecutive starts for trainer Tom Proctor, who is a healthy 5-3-0 from 10 starts at this meet. Introducer ships in from Tampa Bay Downs where he won a second-level allowance on Feb. 2 after getting knocked off stride turning for home.

She's Vested, Hermans Honor, Princess Paleface, and Gentle Breeze Lola complete the field.

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