11/14/2005 12:00AM

High-quality field for an allowance

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The $48,000 allowance feature at Aqueduct on Wednesday came up very tough for a midweek race.

The second-level allowance at one mile drew a field of 10, including four who have won their last start. Nine have earned career-best Beyer Speed Figures of 91 or better.

was one of those last-out winners, posting a career-best 91 Beyer when he won at Monmouth Park in early September. A 3-year-old gray colt, Dance Quiet has two wins and a second in his last four starts, all at Monmouth for trainer Mark Hennig.

"He's done well this summer at Monmouth," Hennig said. "He's a horse on the improve."

Dance Quiet ran well on Aqueduct's main track in the spring, when he finished second in two straight maiden races.

"He's improved a lot since then," Hennig said. "He's a horse that's taken a long time to develop. He's been growing throughout and he's a good-sized horse now, and he's training like he's trying to go in the right direction."

Shug McGaughey said he sees positive signs from , a 4-year-old who most recently won a seven-furlong allowance at Keeneland. This will be Happy Hunting's first attempt beyond seven furlongs. Like Dance Quiet, Happy Hunting has won two of his last three.

"He's starting to make progress," McGaughey said. "It will be interesting to see this race as we stretch him out. We've learned a little bit about him in that we have to stop messing with him and just let him run his race."

Happy Hunting has the pedigree to handle more distance. A Phipps homebred, he was sired by Seeking the Gold out of the Easy Goer mare Furlough. Happy Hunting makes only his seventh career start, all this season. He was set back by a cannon-bone injury as a 2-year-old.

has the most extensive stakes experience in the field. A 3-year-old trained by Jennifer Pedersen, Pavo won his maiden at Aqueduct last November in an off-the-turf race. He looked like a possible Triple Crown contender following a second in the Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park. He followed that with a wild ride in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct, in which jockey Alan Garcia lost his irons. Pavo managed to finish second but was set back to fourth for interference. In the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 9, Pavo finished 38 1/2 lengths behind Bellamy Road, ending any Triple Crown aspirations.