04/12/2007 12:00AM

Grigorieva makes American debut


Last summer in France, Grigorieva was good enough to finish twice within 3 1/4 lengths of Mandesha, a 3-year-old filly who won three consecutive Group 1 stakes and would have been 5 for 5 if she had not been disqualified in the Group 3 Prix Chloe.

Now in the barn of high-percentage trainer Graham Motion, Grigorieva will make her first North American start in Saturday's $100,000 Dahlia, the first turf stakes of the season at Laurel Park.

The strong field of 11 fillies and mares, who will race one mile, also includes graded stakes winner Humoristic and Top Ten List, who won three six-figure turf stakes in Canada during 2005 and 2006.

The Irish-bred Grigorieva was third, three lengths behind Mandesha, in the Prix Chloe and sixth, though beaten just 3 1/4 lengths, in the Group 1 Prix d'Astarte three weeks later. Now 4, Grigorieva has been idle since August and hasn't won since June.

She has posted a series of good workouts at the Fair Hill Training Center and races on Lasix for the first time. Since Jan. 1, 2005, Motion is 8 for 54 (14 percent) with turf runners making their first United States start.

Humoristic, also coming off a long layoff, has been a consistent check-earner at the Grade 3 level for trainer Hamilton Smith. Although 0 for 7 last season, Humoristic was in the money five times, including a loss by a head in the Grade 3 Gallorette Handicap at Pimlico. Her last win came nine starts ago in the Grade 3 Violet at the Meadowlands in October 2005.

Top Ten List, the leading earner in the field with $385,908, raced well at distances from five furlongs to 1 1/16 miles while trained by Robert Tiller in Canada during 2005 and 2006. In her first start since coming to Mike Trombetta's barn, Top Ten List dueled for the lead until fading in deep stretch of a five-furlong turf allowance at Gulfstream Park last month. She should appreciate the stretch out to a mile, the distance at which she won the $125,000 La Prevoyante at Woodbine in September 2005.

Also capable of winning are Redaspen, who is 2 for 3 over the local turf course, and Raging Rapids, a 13-time winner who won by more than five lengths the last time she ran on grass.