08/06/2004 11:00PM

Im a Dixie Girl dominates field in Colleen

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Deja Puglisi/EQUI-PHOTO
Im A Dixie Girl with Stewart Elliott riding wins the $60,000 Colleen Stakes at Monmouth Park.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Im a Dixie Girl romped to an 8 1/4-length win in the $60,000 Saturday afternoon at Monmouth Park.

The Colleen is the traditional prep for Monmouth's top 2-year-old filly stakes, the $75,000 Sorority on Sept. 4.

Im a Dixie Girl ($5) made her debut for trainer Bruce Levine a winning one. She won one of three starts for Bernie Flint at Churchill Downs and was fourth in her prior race, the Grade 3 Debutante.

The race unfolded with Im a Dixie Girl in the middle of a three-way duel with local fillies Irish Meadow and Elke. Irish Meadow could not keep pace, as the two daughters of 2000 Haskell Invitational winner Dixie Union continued the battle.

Elke, who had won two straight at Monmouth for trainer Todd Pletcher, was game, but Ima Dixie Girl pulled away in the lane.

"I hustled her a little bit but once she got up there, she was running pretty comfortable," said winning jockey Stewart Elliott. "I thought I had some horse but I didn't know if there was another gear there, but there was."

Im a Dixie Girl ran the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.76.

Elke held on for second and Joyous Song rallied for third despite lugging in with a furlong to run.

* Iglesias ($26.60) stormed down the center of the track to win the third leg of the $36,000 Malouf Auto Group Starter Series.

Chuckie Lopez rode Iglesias, a Brazilian-bred 4-year-old colt, for owner-trainer Michael McCarthy.