06/05/2009 12:00AM

Justwhistledixie cuts back to mile


ELMONT, N.Y . - While many handicappers give trainer Kiaran McLaughlin a big chance to win Saturday's big race for 3-year-old males at Belmont Park, even more like his chances to win the day's big race for 3-year-old fillies.

Approximately 103 minutes before McLaughlin sends out Charitable Man as the likely second choice in the $1 million Belmont Stakes, he will send out probable favorite Justwhistledixie in the Grade 1, $300,000 Acorn Stakes at one mile. McLaughlin will also saddle Dream Play in the nine-horse field.

Justwhistledixie, a daughter of Dixie Union, brings a five-race winning streak into the Acorn, including victories in the Davona Dale and Bonnie Miss, a pair of Grade 2 events at Gulfstream Park. Justwhistledixie was entered in the Kentucky Oaks, but scratched a few hours before the race because of a bruised foot. That may have turned out to be a blessing, as Rachel Alexandra won the Oaks by 20 1/4 lengths.

The injury did not sideline Justwhistledixie very long. She trained in a bar shoe for a couple of weeks, but her last two works have been in regular shoes, McLaughlin said. Justwhistledixie is cutting back to a one-turn mile, the same conditions at which she ran arguably her best race in the Davona Dale.

"I think it's a plus for her, especially being that she hasn't run since late March,' McLaughlin said. "I'm kind of glad we're going back to a mile, and it should set up well for her, because Dream Play has speed and whoever else has speed."

McLaughlin said Dream Play is not in the race to ensure a strong pace for Justwhistledixie, but it's her natural running style to be forwardly placed. She comes off a win in the Grade 3 Comely and is 3 for 5 in her career. Richard Migliore will ride Dream Play from post 6, while Justwhistledixie will break from post 7 under Julien Leparoux.

Trainer Jimmy Jerkens will also run two horses, Casanova Move and Doremifasollatido. Casanova Move was second to Justwhistledixie in both the Davona Dale and Bonnie Miss and, most recently, finished third in the Black-Eyed Susan with a wide trip.

Doremifasollatido, who won the Grade 2 Matron here last year, returned from a long layoff to finish second behind Light Green in the Fall Aspen Stakes here May 15. That six-furlong race ran in 1:08.32, just .76 of a second off the track record.

"You usually don't get excited when you get beat eight lengths, but they almost broke the track record," Jerkens said. "She's been doing good and she had a decent workout [Sunday] over the track."

Two interesting price horses could be Livin Lovin and Funny Moon. Livin Lovin, trained by Steve Klesaris, hasn't run since winning the Grade 3 Tempted last Nov. 2 at Aqueduct. She was away because of a chipped ankle.

"I think you got a good group, and I think she belongs with every single one of them," Klesaris said. "Justwhistledixie is the most accomplished filly in the race, but Livin Lovin has trained very well. She's a real talented filly and I'm looking forward to a big effort."

Trainer Christophe Clement believes Funny Moon is the best dirt horse he has had in his barn since the multiple-stakes-winning colt Dynever.

Gabby's Golden Gal, Be Fair, and Four Gifts complete the field.