11/24/2004 1:00AM

Miesque draws 16, forcing split

Benoit & Associates
Lady Truffles, shown winning the Cal Cup Juvenile Fillies, goes in the first division of Friday's Miesque.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - An extremely competitive running of Friday's Grade 3 Miesque Stakes became twice as good on Wednesday morning. Sixteen 2-year-old fillies were entered in the one-mile grass race, so Hollywood Park racing secretary Martin Panza divided the race into a pair of eight-horse fields with $75,000 purses.

"If I didn't split it, the most I could run in the race is 14," Panza said. "Two wouldn't be able to run, and the horses on the outside, like in posts 13 and 14, would be up against it. And instead of three fillies getting Grade 3 stakes-placed, now there will be six."

They have come from all over for this year's Miesque - from Europe, from New York, and from California. The first division, which goes as the third race, includes Lady Truffles, the winner of the California Cup Juvenile Fillies, and Royal Copenhagen, a highly regarded import from France.

The second division, the sixth race on the card, includes Conveyor's Angel, the winner of the Hidden Light Stakes during Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting, and Paddy's Daisy, a stakes winner at both The Meadowlands and Keeneland.

looks like an intriguing play in the third race. She won twice in three starts in France, including a five-length victory against males at Chantilly. She finished a close second in a Group 3 stakes at Deauville in her last start.

"She's really nice. She does everything right," said Laura de Seroux, who now trains Royal Copenhagen after her husband, Emmanuel, purchased the filly for owner Richard Duchossois. "On form, she looks like she belongs. I'm excited about her. She had some down time after she first got here, and I thought I might run out of time getting her ready for this race, but she came around very quickly. She's a racy filly. She didn't need much to get fit again."

In addition to Lady Truffles, Royal Copenhagen's rivals include Louvain, who placed in a pair of listed stakes in France before being purchased privately by trainer Bobby Frankel on behalf of owner Ed Gann.

has blossomed since moving to turf. She was purchased privately by trainer Chris Paasch in Florida on behalf of owner Charlie Cono, then headed west to win last month's Hidden Light.

"She's a very impressive, long-striding filly," Paasch said.

is part of a contingent of horses trainer Todd Pletcher has sent west for stakes races over the next few weeks here. Like Conveyor's Angel, Paddy's Daisy improved sharply when she moved to the turf, a surface over which she has won 3 times in 4 starts.

"She likes to be covered up, and she has tractable speed," said Pletcher assistant Michael McCarthy, a California native who is making his annual fall foray for Pletcher to Hollywood Park. "She's very honest. She puts it all together in the afternoon."