01/20/2005 1:00AM

Josh's Madelyn back in action

Bill Straus
Josh's Madelyn, winning the Raven Run at Keeneland, is the class of Saturday's field.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - It would be an understatement to say that the crop of young fillies trainer Larry Jones had at Oaklawn Park last year panned out. Island Sand went on to win the Grade 1 Acorn, and Josh's Madelyn won the Grade 2 Raven Run.

Both will be seen at the Oaklawn meet this year, with Josh's Madelyn up first in Saturday's $50,000 American Beauty Stakes. She stands out against a strong field of fillies and mares in the six-furlong race, which also drew stakes winners Souris, Saltwater Runner, and Thermal Ablasion.

gives up recency to several rivals and has not raced since Oct. 15, when she won the Raven Run by 1 1/4 lengths at Keeneland. Before that start, she broke a 17-year-old track record at Ellis Park when she won an overnight handicap by 11 1/2 lengths, covering seven furlongs in 1:21.37.

Josh's Madelyn shows a nice series of works at Oaklawn, where she has been stabled since Dec. 1.

"We're plenty fit," said Jones. "She's ready. She won right off the bat last year, of course in a little different kind of race, but it doesn't take a whole lot to have her ready."

Josh's Madelyn won her maiden following a layoff in her first start at Oaklawn last year and also captured an entry-level allowance during the meet. Both races came over six furlongs, but Jones said that as she has developed, Josh's Madelyn has proven to be at her best at seven furlongs or longer. Because she is fresh coming into the American Beauty, she could show more speed Saturday.

"She'll probably be a little sharper than normally she would be," said Jones.

Justin Shepherd has the mount on Josh's Madelyn, who races for Michael Pressley and Jim Neidig. A strong closer, Josh's Madelyn could get a nice pace to track behind the quick She's a Rebel Too, Forty Dolls, Southern Surprise, and possibly , who will be making her first start since June, when she won an overnight stakes at Arlington Park.

A solid pace would also benefit Souris, a closer who got up at 5 1/2 furlongs last out to win the $50,000 Bold Ego Handicap at Sunland Park. Roman Chapa will ride Souris, who should benefit from the additional half-furlong she gets Saturday. Souris is trained by Steve Asmussen.

Quick work for Greater Good

Greater Good worked a bullet three furlongs in 34.80 seconds Thursday morning. John McKee, his regular rider, was aboard for the workout, which came soon after the renovation break. Greater Good won the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs in his last start Nov. 27. He is trained by Bob Holthus.