03/02/2007 12:00AM

Magnolia Jackson in sweet spot


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Magnolia Jackson was the solid winner of Aqueduct's Correction Handicap last month at 4-5.

On the drop from open to restricted company, she figures to be an even shorter price on Sunday in the Big A's $65,000 Broadway Handicap for New York-bred fillies and mares.

"She's a New York-bred, and it's not like there are a bunch of graded stakes for her to run in," trainer Gary Contessa said. "This is what she is. To me, it's a nice easy spot for her. I like the opportunity to run against New York-breds for a change."

Magnolia Jackson has not faced statebreds since last year's Broadway. She has run seven times since in open stakes with a record of 4-1-2 that includes a victory in the Big A's Grade 2 Bed o' Roses Breeders' Cup Handicap. Overall, the remarkably consistent 5-year-old mare is 10-2-2 in 16 career starts.

She will try to duplicate the parlay she pulled off last year: winning the Correction as a steppingstone to winning the Broadway.

Contessa sees no reason why she can't do it again.

"She's in super form, training good," he said. "She's really on the edge. She's doing everything right and eating well. Everything says she's coming into this race in perfect shape."

As an insurance policy, Contessa also entered Waytotheleft, a first-level allowance winner in open company in her debut for the barn following a claim for $30,000 in late January.

"I don't think I will run her unless something happened to Magnolia in the interim," Contessa said. "I will more than likely be looking for another spot for her. I can't see running two in there, but they do have two completely different styles."

Magnolia Jackson figures to be on or very close to the pace. Waytotheleft, the trailer in last year's Broadway, does her best running from behind.

The presence of the Contessa duo did not dampen interest in the six-furlong race as 11 passed the entry box.

Trainer Richard Dutrow, Jr. one-upped Contessa by entering three: Slew Motion, Ice Cool Kitty, and Gold Like U, winner of the Union Avenue Stakes at Saratoga last summer.

Richard Schosberg also dropped in a pair: Zippy Shannon and Towering Escape, third in the Correction last time out.

Completing the field are Stand by the Phone, Her Royal Nibs, Baby Gray, and Great Lady K.

All race as individual betting interests.Brother Bean broke alertly from the rail under Robby Albarado and set the pace under heavy pressure from Miner's Lamp through a quarter mile in 22.38 seconds and a half in 44.97. He edged away from Miner's Lamp soon after turning for home but Albarado kept busy on him to the wire. Brother Bean won by a widening 2 3/4 lengths in 1:03.09, breaking the old mark of 1:03.20 set by Toby's Success on Jan. 26, 2004.