10/11/2001 11:00PM

Lady of the Future in tough


ELMONT, N.Y. - With opportunities to run against their own age group running out and without having to run against the likes of Voodoo Dancer, it was little surprise that 19 3-year-old fillies passed the entry box for Sunday's $100,000, Grade 3 Pebbles Stakes at Belmont Park.

In an effort to accommodate the horsemen, the racing office split the nine-furlong turf race into two divisions. Unfortunately for trainer Thomas Greene, Lady of the Future wound up in the second division, which came up significantly stronger.

Lady of the Future carries a five-race winning streak into the Pebbles. She faces a field that includes European shipper Calista, the Grade 1-placed Shooting Party, sharp allowance winner Nouvelle, and the stakes-placed Love n' Kiss S.

Greene purchased Lady of the Future from longtime friend Phil Gleaves for his Virginia-based owner Max Pearson. After winning two races at Colonial Downs, Lady of the Future won minor stakes at Delaware Park and Pimlico. Lady of the Future is a one-run closer, but has not been at the mercy of pace.

"It doesn't matter what they do in front of her, she's going to throw in that three-eighths-of-a-mile run at you," Greene said. "She looks like she's 200 pounds underweight, but she runs. If we could be one-two-three in a graded stakes,

it would help her value out a little bit."

Shooting Party is the one to catch in the race. In her only turf start, the Grade 1 Garden City Breeders' Cup, Shooting Party made all the pace before succumbing to Voodoo Dancer yet still held on for second.

Shooting Party figures to be stalked by Nouvelle, who has turned into an excellent claim for trainer Del Carroll. She is coming off a two-length win in a classified allowance race and is 3 for 4 at Belmont.

"She's coming into this race as well as she went into the allowance race," Carroll said.

Love n' Kiss S. is 2 for 2 at Belmont. Her last race, run over a dirt track, can be dismissed, trainer Christophe Clement said.

In the other division, which goes as race 7, Wander Mom and Heads Will Roll look like the ones to beat. Wander Mom finished second to a loose-on-the-lead Snow Dance in the Grade 2 Lake Placid Handicap at Saratoga before finishing third in the Garden City. Heads Will Roll, trained by Bobby Frankel, makes her first start since May when she finished third in the Edgewood Stakes at Churchill.