08/21/2002 11:00PM

Megahertz, Dublino in awaited rematch


DEL MAR, Calif. - Dublino has the distinction of being the only filly this year to finish in front of Megahertz in five turf stakes. The only trouble was, Dublino fouled Megahertz in deep stretch of the $500,000 American Oaks at Hollywood Park on July 6 and was disqualified from first to second for the interference.

On Saturday, those two meet for the second time and face five others in the $300,000 Del Mar Oaks for 3-year-old fillies over 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Since the American Oaks, trainer Laura de Seroux has been eager for Dublino have a rematch against Megahertz.

"She's bigger, stronger and sharper than in the American Oaks," de Seroux said. "Megahertz had better have her running shoes on."

The top pair will be joined by Alozaina and Arabic Song, who were third and sixth, respectively, in the American Oaks; Ristra and Fair Bianca, the first two finishers in the restricted Sandy Blue Stakes on Aug. 4; and Pina Colada, the runner-up in the San Clemente Handicap on Aug. 3.

Ristra, who is also trained by de Seroux, Fair Bianca and Pina Colada are entered for Sunday's $75,000 Finlandia Cup, but Ristra is being pointed for the Del Mar Oaks, the trainer said.

There were 14 runners in the American Oaks, when both Dublino and Megahertz closed from the back of the field. In the Del Mar Oaks, they figure to be closer to the front, chasing likely pacesetter Fair Bianca.

A small field should help Arabic Song and Alozaina, who had traffic trouble in the final half-mile of the American Oaks. A small field will give Dublino and Megahertz fewer fillies to circle to reach contention.

Both Dublino and Megahertz are French imports. Megahertz ran in claiming races last year, but has won five stakes and $540,180 this year for owner Michael Bello and trainer Bobby Frankel. The Del Mar Oaks is her first start in a Grade 1.

Dublino has made three starts. In France, she was a maiden winner in her lone start at 2 and was third in a Group 3 at Longchamp in April before being acquired by a partnership. De Seroux said the size of the American Oaks field might have surprised Dublino, who was ridden by Kent Desormeaux.

"When she made that move, there were five or six fillies to her inside," de Seroux said. "That was all a little surprising to her. Kent was going for the win and he didn't think anything could come up to his outside.

"I expect a better run for her second time in this country. She'll be laying closer."

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