03/10/2006 12:00AM

Magnolia Jackson takes role of favorite


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Magnolia Jackson goes from hunter to hunted in Sunday's $65,000 Broadway Handicap at Aqueduct.

was 4-1 when she upset odds-on favorite Great Intentions in last month's Correction Handicap, a six-furlong race for open company fillies and mares. Sunday, Magnolia Jackson figures to be favored against eight rivals in the Broadway, a six-furlong race restricted to New York-bred fillies and mares.

Trainer Gary Contessa, who is enjoying a sensational winter with 52 winners through Friday, couldn't be more confident in Magnolia Jackson, who breaks from post 8 under Ramon Dominguez. She is the starting highweight at 120 pounds.

"She is training fantastic," he said Friday outside his Aqueduct barn. "I just think she's ready to run another 'A' race. She seems to like four or five weeks between races - she's got it - and she came out of the Correction in perfect shape and has been training nothing short of phenomenal since the Correction."

In the Correction, Magnolia Jackson stalked the pacesetting Speed Bag and gradually wore that rival down in deep stretch.

could be the main speed again under Jose Santos. Speed Bag is in sharp form with top-three finishes in her last six races. She beat open company second-level allowance rivals by 7 1/4 lengths two starts back.

Trainer Jeff Odintz doesn't believe Speed Bag has to have the early lead.

"She can sit and press if she has to," he said. "I wouldn't be unhappy if someone outran her a little early on."

is 3 for 3 against New York-breds, including a victory in last May's Bouwerie Stakes. Sweet Sweet came out of that race with general muscle soreness, trainer Mike Hushion said, and was turned out for the summer.

Sweet Sweet returned in January and finished fifth in an open company allowance race. She appeared to lose her footing when the gates opened and broke slowly. Thereafter, she pressed the pace and tired.

"She's a big, fat filly and I'm hoping she needed it," Hushion said. "She's worked pretty hard since."

has had a strong winter over the inner track and comes off a hard-fought statebred allowance win last out.

Gold Like U won an open company allowance race on Friday and is wheeled right back in the Broadway.