09/27/2005 12:00AM

Madame Diva comes off dazzling win


ELMONT, N.Y. - Madame Diva is relatively inexperienced, but her 7 1/2-length maiden victory at Saratoga hints that she may be the most talented filly in Thursday's $65,000 Colonial Minstrel Stakes at Belmont.

Restricted to 3-year-old fillies who have never won an open stakes race, the Colonial Minstrel drew a field of nine, and Madame Diva will be trying to emulate her stablemate Great Intentions, another Mike Hushion-trained filly who dead-heated for the win in a similar overnight stakes last Sunday.

Great Intentions entered Sunday's race off a seven-length win in which she earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 95, and those credentials are nearly identical to the ones Madame Diva brings to this one-mile event. It should be noted, however, that Great Intentions was winning her first allowance condition, and Madame Diva will be facing winners for the first time Thursday.

Still, there was nothing cheap about Madame Diva's maiden win. She set a solid pace and widened her lead at each call, winning by 7 1/2 lengths and earning a 95 Beyer. The second- and fourth-place finishers came back to win their next starts at Belmont.

breaks from the rail with Edgar Prado, and judging from a bullet five-furlong workout earlier this month, she appears to like this track.

The filly who kept the toughest company during the summer was Lady Pegasus, who has been freshened up by Bobby Frankel since being overmatched in two Grade 1 attempts, a fifth in the Mother Goose and a sixth in the Test. Before those assignments, won her maiden and entry-level allowance conditions by open lengths under Jerry Bailey, and will reunite with Bailey while breaking from post 5.

Three New York-breds will try their luck: Carlow, who has won her last four starts, including the Niagara Stakes and the New York Oaks at Finger Lakes; Karakorum Splendor, who has won three of four starts since adding blinkers; and Pretty Partisan, a four-time winner.

finished first or second in her first eight starts, including a recent win in the Girl Powder Handicap at Monmouth. She figures to contest the early pace with Madame Diva, as she breaks right outside that rival.

Completing the field are Pixie Stix, who suffered her first defeat against Indian Vale last out, and Neverlacken, who ran third in the Miss Woodford off a five-month layoff.