01/09/2008 12:00AM

Light Tactic's quirks seem less of a problem

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Trainer Richard Schosberg didn't know what was going to happen when jockey Ramon Dominguez dropped Light Tactic in behind horses entering the far turn of the Dec. 2 Personal Bid Stakes.

"A horse like her, you figure dirt in her face and she'd freak out,'' said Schosberg, noting Light Tactic's temperamental nature.

Light Tactic took the dirt just fine and rallied in the stretch for a convincing 3 1/2-length victory in the Personal Bid for New York-bred 3-year-old fillies. Friday, Light Tactic tries to make it 4 wins from 5 career starts when she meets six statebred fillies and mares in the $65,000 Ruby Rubles Stakes at six furlongs at Aqueduct.

Light Tactic won her first two starts by pressing the pace. In the Iroquois Handicap, Light Tactic finished a nonthreatening seventh, but Schosberg had previously said she was horsing, or in heat, at that time.

Light Tactic then bounced back nicely with her Personal Bid victory.

"I was impressed with the fact she laid off the pace,'' Schosberg said. "The fact she dropped back in behind four horses, took the dirt in her face, and never really batted an eye. I was impressed with that, especially with her quirky attitude. Maybe she's just maturing a little bit.''

Light Tactic, who will break from post 5 under Ramon Dominguez, will be coupled with Towering Escape, who has not won since taking an allowance race over a muddy inner track on Jan. 1, 2007.

Karakorum Starlet returns to New York-bred company for the first time since she won the Iroquois at Belmont on Oct. 20. Since then, she has faced open company three times, finishing second in the Smartangle Stakes and in the Interborough Handicap on Jan. 1.

Tamberino enters the Ruby Rubles off two straight front-running victories. Trainer Tom Bush had her entered in the Interborough, but thought the track was "dreadful'' that day and scratched. Tamberino figures the one to catch under Alan Garcia on Friday.

"She's got natural speed for sure,'' Bush said.

One Tough Belle has a win and a second in her two most recent dirt starts. Trainer Bill Badgett said One Tough Belle's improvement can be attributed to a throat operation she underwent after a turf race in July.

Starship Cruiser, who is 3 for 3 against statebreds, makes her first start since Juneo27 for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.