02/19/2005 12:00AM

Megascape could feel pressure from Slew Motion

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - In her last two starts, has had things her own way on the lead, winning a pair of stakes rather handily. In order to win Monday's $75,000 Dearly Precious Stakes, she'll likely have to show a new dimension.

That's because the speedy Slew Motion has arrived in New York, and she looms the fastest of the early speed types in the six-furlong Dearly Precious, the featured event on Aqueduct's Presidents Day card.

Though bred in New York, Slew Motion began her career in northern California, running three races in a five-week period at Golden Gate Fields. After finishing third in her debut, Slew Motion won a maiden special weight by 4 1/2 lengths and an entry-level allowance race by six.

Both of those races caught the eye of people involved with International Equine Acquisitions Holdings Inc. The group cemented a deal to buy Slew Motion about a month ago and moved her to the barn of Richard Dutrow Jr.

After a relatively slow work on Feb. 11, Slew Motion came back with a better move six days later to earn a spot in the starting gate.

"We took it real easy with her when she first flew in,'' said Mike Sherack, vice president of investor relations for IEAH. "It was extremely cold when she first got here and we babied her. We turned the screws up recently.''

Megascape got out there and did her thing winning the Grade 3 Valley Stream and the Ruthless Stakes. Overall, she has won four of six starts and is likely to be named champion New York-bred 2-year-old filly.

Megascape, a daughter of Cape Canaveral, continues to train forwardly, but will have to prove she's just as effective coming from off the pace as she is when setting it.

"She's fast, but she's able to sit off horses in the morning,'' said Toby Sheets, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen. "If she ends up sitting just off the pace, I'd have no concerns.''

If Megascape and Slew Motion duel, it could set things up nicely for Phyllis Sassy Girl, who is 2 for 2. She won a $50,000 claiming race at 26-1, and was claimed by Steve Klesaris. Phyllis Sassy Girl came back to win an entry-level allowance race by nearly three lengths.