06/28/2002 11:00PM

Heavenly Miss in an upset


MIAMI - Last Saturday, Eclipse Award winning owner-breeder Michael Sherman went home shaking his head. He had watched his promising 3-year-old Kingmaker stumble and lose jockey Manny Aguilar leaving the starting gate in the $100,000 Unbridled Stakes. This Saturday Sherman went home to celebrate after Aguilar guided 2-year-old filly Heavenly Miss to an impressive 1 1/4-length victory over 8-5 favorite Crimson and Roses in the $100,000 J j'sdream Stakes at Calder.

"Last week I was pretty low after Kingmaker stumbled and lost Manny at the start of the Unbridled," said Sherman who owns and bred Heavenly Miss. "This makes up for it."

Heavenly Miss had to overcome an eventful trip to win the 5 1/2-furlong J j'sdream after Aguilar was forced to check sharply inside rivals midway on the turn. Once recovering, Aguilar angled Heavenly Miss wide into the stretch after which the filly finished full of run to wear down Crimson and Roses and win going away.

Crimson and Roses readily rallied past Electrical Carlia and Forest Native into the stretch and edged clear nearing the furlong marker but proved no match for the winner's closing surge.

Formal Miss overcame trouble to finish third. The previously undefeated Running Debate was a disappointing seventh.

Heavenly Miss paid $17.80. She covered the distance in 1:06.07 seconds over a fast track.

Sherman gave trainer Angel Salinas much of the credit: "He was the one who came up with the idea to run her against the boys in an allowance race in her last start. He put himself in a position to be criticized for doing something that unorthodox, but it was that race that made winning this one possible."

Sherman said Heavenly Miss, a daughter of Suave Prospect whom he bought back at the Ocala Breeders' April sale for $74,000, would now be pointed for the Florida Stallion Series, which begins on Aug. 10.