02/23/2006 12:00AM

It's Small vs. Small in Laurel stakes


Trainer Richard Small's chief competition might come from his own barn when he saddles two of the prime contenders for Saturday's $85,000 Maryland Racing Media Handicap at Laurel Park.

Small's coupled entry of Sticky and Dynamic Deputy bring the best credentials into the 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares.

Both of Small's horses are 4-year-old fillies with 4-for-7 records. The one significant difference between them is that Sticky already owns a stakes victory. She got up by a head in the Maryland Million Oaks at nine furlongs last October.

In the only previous meeting between the stablemates, Sticky finished 5 1/2 lengths in front of Dynamic Deputy as the runner-up in the one-mile Anne Arundel on Nov. 19.

While has been sharp in two subsequent starts, easily winning a high-priced optional claimer and finishing second against similar company three weeks later.

Sticky and Dynamic Deputy most recently worked in company at Pimlico, breezing a mile in 1:43.60.

The other seven horses in the field appear either too slow or show deteriorating form that would make it difficult to defeat Small's potent one-two punch.

True as Mine, for example, is 3 for 4 racing at 1 1/8 miles, but her fastest race, a victory last month against nonwinners-of-three allowance runners, was worth only a 56 Beyer Speed Figure, 41 points slower than Sticky's most recent race.

won six races in 2005 and owns a 3-for-6 mark at Laurel, but she has been beaten a combined 17 lengths in her last two starts, both going a mile.

Ms Louisa Quatorse won three races last fall that earned Beyers ranging from 92 to 97, but failed to display her typical early speed in her two subsequent starts when moved up to face stakes company.

, a three-time winner last season, makes her first start since early January. She was sixth in her only stakes try and is 0 for 8 at Laurel.