08/04/2004 11:00PM

Mister Diz repeat won't come easy


A year ago, Ghostly Numbers had little trouble disposing of Quest of Fate, along with seven other turf sprinters, to win the Mister Diz Stakes at Laurel Park. Since then, however, Quest of Fate has finished ahead of Ghostly Numbers three times.

Ghostly Numbers is back to defend his title in Saturday's $75,000 Mister Diz, a five-furlong turf sprint for Maryland-breds at Pimlico. In order to win, he must not only deal with Quest of Fate, but possibly two other horses from Ben Feliciano's barn, Nortouch and Ameri Brilliance. All three Feliciano horses will race uncoupled.

Quest of Fate, 4 for 5 lifetime on Pimlico's turf course, most recently finished in a dead heat for first in an open stakes at Monmouth Park and must carry high weight of 124 pounds.

His stablemate, Nortouch, has been freshened since easily winning a pair of turf sprints against allowance company during May and June.

Feliciano's third horse, Ameri Brilliance, is more likely to run in Saturday's West Virginia Legislature Chairman's Cup, a 4 1/2-furlong dirt race at Mountaineer.

Ghostly Numbers is winless in seven consecutive turf races since last year's Mister Diz, but showed signs of regaining his best form when he captured an off-the-turf sprint on a sloppy track at Colonial Downs in his last start.