03/03/2003 12:00AM

Lingfield winner eyes Belmont


Pretence, winner of a third straight start on dirt at Lingfield Park over the weekend, may have the Belmont Stakes as his long-term goal.

A Danehill colt, Pretence landed the Dubai Trial Conditions Stakes, a one-mile allowance race, by a neck as the even-money favorite with a sharp late run on Saturday, stopping the clock in 1:38.58. His performance prompted his trainer, Jeremy Noseda, to reveal his long-range plans for Pretence, who is nominated to the Triple Crown.

"The plan was never to go for the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness, and I don't think he's an Epsom Derby horse, either," Noseda said. "If he acquits himself well in his next race, we could have a relatively fresh horse meeting others coming out of a long Triple Crown campaign."