11/30/2006 12:00AM

Magnolia Jackson gets her track


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Magnolia Jackson’s versatility and proven affinity for Aqueduct’s inner track may give her a slight edge over the speedy Stormy Kiss in Saturday’s $65,000 Garland of Roses Handicap at Aqueduct.

A six-furlong race, the Garland of Roses has a field of six and tops a nine-race card that also includes the $65,000 Coyote Lakes, an overnight stakes run at 1 1/2 miles.

Magnolia Jackson, a 4-year-old New York-bred daughter of Cape Canaveral, has won 8 of 13 career starts and is 3 for 4 over the inner track. In addition to her three wins, which include victories in the Correction and Broadway handicaps, Magnolia Jackson was beaten a neck in the Grade 2 Distaff Breeders’ Cup Handicap.

Magnolia Jackson capped a terrific winter and spring by taking the Grade 2 Bed o’ Roses Breeders’ Cup Handicap over the main track in April. After finishing third in the Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont in June, Magnolia Jackson had to have a chip removed from an ankle. She resumed training in just six weeks and returned to the races with a front-running score in the Montclair State University Stakes at The Meadowlands, in which she ran six furlongs in 1:08.68 and won by 2 1/4 lengths.

“She did it pretty handily,” said Gary Contessa, who trains Magnolia Jackson for owner Ted Taylor. “He never cocked the stick on her.”

Though Magnolia Jackson won the Montclair State on the front end, Contessa said he believes she is better from the off pace.

“Her ‘A’ race is sitting second, third, fourth, and I’ve seen her last and come running,” Contessa said. “It doesn’t matter with her. She’s the consummate racehorse.’’

Magnolia Jackson, the 120-pound highweight, will be ridden by Ramon Dominguez from post 5.

Stormy Kiss, trained by Barclay Tagg, has not raced since she finished third in the Grade 3 Floral Park Handicap on Sept. 16. She could not make the lead that day and appears much better on the front end, as evidenced by her victory in the Grade 3 Honorable Miss at Saratoga.

“You can’t mess with her,” Tagg said. “You got to let her run her race. She hits kind of an even pace. If she happens to be in front, it’s because the others have a hold of their horses.”

Eibar Coa rides Stormy Kiss from post 2.

Career Oriented, Notimetoquit, Pleasant Laughter, and Getcozywithkaylee complete the field.