04/07/2004 12:00AM

Miss Coronado an up-and-comer


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Last week, the Grade 1 Ashland drew a small but star-studded group of 3-year-old fillies, no doubt prompting other members of the division to prep for the Kentucky Oaks elsewhere. Friday's Grade 2, $200,000 Fantasy may have been the beneficiary.

The Fantasy drew a large, competitive field of 11 fillies, led by House of Fortune and Miss Coronado. Other stakes winners in the 1 1/16-mile race include Shadow Cast, Stellar Jayne, and Island Sand.

House of Fortune, a winner of four of seven starts, should go favored following her 17-length win in the $77,000 California Oaks at Golden Gate Fields on March 6. But the filly with the most upside in the Fantasy might be Miss Coronado, who has made three career starts.

Owned by Stonerside Stable and trained by Bobby Frankel, she won the Grade 2 Davona Dale at Gulfstream Park in her last race, on Feb. 7. The race was Miss Coronado's first against winners and her first on dirt. She won her maiden at 1 1/8 miles on turf in January.

"I wanted to run her a distance of ground first time out, and it's easier on them on the grass," said Frankel. "You don't have to gun them to the lead and stuff like that. You can ride a good race on them. But she's always trained good on the dirt."

Miss Coronado, by Coronado's Quest out of Grade 3 winner Miss Caerleona, led throughout to win the Davona Dale by a head.

"I think her winning last time was more impressive than it really looks on paper, because she was out of her game when she went on the lead," Frankel said. "I don't think she wants to be on the lead."

Miss Coronado could get a nice stalking trip behind House of Fortune, a quick filly who figures to use her speed to hold position from her rail post. Cornelio Velasquez has a return call on Miss Coronado.

Alex Solis will ride House of Fortune, who has finished third to Hollywood Story in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet and second to Yearly Report in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez. She is owned by Arnold Zetcher and trained by Ron McAnally.

Stellar Jayne, who won the $100,000 Pocahontas at Churchill Downs in November, was fifth last out in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks. She is a half-sister to Starrer, a multiple Grade 1 winner. John McKee, the leading rider at Oaklawn, has the mount.

The Fantasy is part of the Racing Festival of the South, which features at least one stakes a day at Oaklawn through the end of the meet on Saturday.