08/18/2007 11:00PM

Magnolia Jackson dominant if right


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - On paper, and if she's right, Magnolia Jackson towers over her six rivals in Monday's $80,000 Union Avenue Stakes at Saratoga.

But the race isn't run on paper, and there is some question if Magnolia Jackson is right entering the six-furlong race for New York-bred fillies and mares.

Trainer Gary Contessa said Magnolia Jackson came out of her last workout - a five-furlong move in 1:01.88 over the training track on Aug. 15 - with a little heat in a front fooot and she is questionable to run.

"If she's not perfect day of [the race] I'm not going to run her," Contessa said. "She's got to be perfect."

Magnolia Jackson, a 5-year-old daughter of Cape Canaveral has won 10 of 20 career starts including several open-company stakes. She is 4 for 6 versus New York-breds, including a victory in the Broadway Handicap on March 12, 2006 the last time she faced statebred company.

Since then, she has run first or second in 7 of 11 starts, all open company stakes. She has not run since finishing fifth in the Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont on June 17. Her eight wins at six furlongs are double the rest of the field combined.

If Magnolia Jackson doesn't run, the Union Avenue becomes basically a re-run of the Dancin Renee Stakes run here on July 26. The top four finishers from that 6 1/2-furlong race are back in this six-furlong heat.

In the Dancin Renee, Precise Lady came from off the pace to win by 2 1/4 lengths, her second straight win and also her second from three starts over Saratoga's main track. Trainer Pat Kelly said he was "happily surprised" with Precise Lady's victory in the Dancin Renee.

"Didn't really expect it," Kelly said. "We were trying to get her on the board and be stakes-placed and we won the whole damn thing."

The major difference between the Dancin Renee and this race is that Hoosick Falls, who set a strong early pace in the Dancin Renee, is not entered back here. But Lovely Dream, who was off the pace in the Dancin Renee, could be part of the early pace with Stolen Star and possibly Karakorum Starlet.

"She probably wants to be a little more free-running than she was the other day," said John Ward, trainer of Lovely Dream.

Stolen Star finished second in 4 of her last 5 starts. She made the lead in midstretch of the Dancin Renee only to be run down by Precise Lady.

Baby Gray, fourth in the Dancin Renee, and Scatkey complete the field.