08/29/2001 11:00PM

Here, Asmussen has the underdog


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Trainer Steve Asmussen will have the shoe on the other foot Saturday when he sends Goodness to Monmouth Park to take on likely favorite Forest Heiress in the $150,000 Grade 3 Sorority Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.

"It's an ambitious spot, but she seems to have a tremendous amount of ability," said Asmussen. "But we've got Cashier's Dream up here," he said by phone from Saratoga.

Cashier's Dream is one of the best fillies on the East Coast and is part-owned by Heilgbrodt Racing Stable. Her record-setting performances this summer scared much of the competition away from Friday's Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga, including her barnmate Goodness.

Forest Heiress, the winner of the Colleen Stakes and a maiden affair conducted in a thunderstorm, looks to be the Cashier's Dream of the Jersey circuit for trainer Ben Perkins Jr. Her local edge will come in handy over Goodness - plus four other up-and-coming fillies - as Forest Heiress will be making just her second career start in the six-furlong Sorority.

"She's training so well," said Perkins. "We knew she'd run so much better in the Colleen, so we're just hoping she stays at that level. She doesn't need to improve anything at this point."

Perkins will also saddle supplemental nominee Lost Expectations in an uncoupled entry.

Goodness is expected to be joined by fellow Saratoga shipper Purple Princess for trainer Todd Pletcher. Like Forest Heiress, she has won two straight, but will be tested in stakes company for the first time in the Sorority.

Trainer John Tammaro III, who won the two races for juvenile colts this meet with Pure Precision, sends out Divine Angel for George Steinbrenner's Kinsman Stable.

"She's a big strong filly," said Tammaro. "She broke her maiden at six furlongs and acts like she wants to go farther. I like the way she stalked the pace and closed ground in that race. There will be plenty of speed to run at in the Sorority, and I'm hoping we can get the same kind of performance from her."

Divine Angel should have a pace to stalk, but unfortunately, much of it will be generated by Forest Heiress, and she has already proven she can shake free from pressure in her two prior starts. Purple Princess has also won both of her races on the lead.

Haunted Lass should also be close to the pace for trainer Allen Iwinski. A daughter of Meadow Monster, she is the only other starter besides Forest Heiress with a stakes win, after taking the Everget Stakes at Delaware Park. She has finished first in her last two starts after inheriting a maiden breaker via disqualification in her debut.