03/16/2007 12:00AM

McLaughlin eyes doubleheader sweep



HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Racing secretary Dave Bailey’s decision to split Sunday’s $46,000 allowance feature at Gulfstream into two divisions had to put a smile on the face of trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who may hold the upper hand in both races, with Cash’s Girl and Dixie Dawn.

Cash’s Girl might be favored in the opening split of the six-furlong first-level allowance dash for 3-year-old fillies. A daughter of Northern Afleet, she’ll be making her first start for McLaughlin after launching her career with trainer Tim Ritchey last year.

Cash’s Girl began her career by winning her debut by nearly a dozen lengths at Delaware Park on Aug. 29 and earning a 90 Beyer Speed Figure. That performance earned her a start in Belmont’s Grade 1 Matron Stakes four weeks later, but after showing early speed she faded in the stretch to finish a well-beaten fourth.

McLaughlin has had Cash’s Girl in steady training this winter at Palm Meadows, where she has worked six times since Feb. 3. Most of the works have been slow five-furlong breezes although she does show a near-bullet half-mile in 47.80 seconds on Feb. 10.

Fernando Jara will ride Cash’s Girl, who breaks from post 1 in a field of seven.

Marquis Diamond, a 10 3/4-length maiden winner over the Aqueduct inner track in December in her second start, makes her local debut for trainer Mark Hennig. She has had one start this year at 3, finishing a tiring fifth in Aqueduct’s Ruthless Stakes on Jan. 7.

Lia’s Luck, third behind the undefeated Forward Gal Stakes winner Forever Together in the OBS Sprint Championship, is one of the other contenders, along with Come Together and Gulch Jumper.

McLaughlin comes back in the second division with the unbeaten Dixie Dawn, who won her only start by nearly six lengths last July in New York. A speedy Dixie Union filly, Dixie Dawn earned an 86 Beyer for that start, and, like Cash’s Girl, has trained steadily at Palm Meadows since early February.

Trainer Allen Jerkens, in the midst of a big meet, will run Quality Affair, who will wear blinkers for the first time. Quality Affair won her maiden on Feb. 11 but then tired badly to finish last of seven in a first-level allowance sprint only 17 days later. She had a spectacular 45-second half-mile work in blinkers earlier this week.