06/26/2002 11:00PM

More at stake in rematch


MIAMI - Running Debate first crossed paths with Crimson and Rose eight weeks ago when both 2-year-old fillies launched their careers in a maiden special weight race. Running Debate got the best of that matchup.

Saturday, they meet again with much more on the line in the $100,000 J j'sdream Stakes at Calder.

Running Debate led throughout to post a 1 3/4-length victory over Crimson and Roses, who finished well ahead of the rest of the field when the two fillies met on May 5. Both have made one subsequent start. Running Debate posted a two-length victory over entry level allowance competition while racing on a dead rail. Crimson and Roses dominated maidens by 11 lengths in her only other start.

Running Debate is by Open Forum out of the mare Miss Running Vany, who won the finale of the Florida Stallion Series here in 1989. The Stallion Series is trainer Eddie Plesa Jr.'s goal for Running Debate this summer.

"Naturally we'd love to win the J j'sdream, but the Stallion Series is our main objective," said Plesa. "Her last race was a lot more impressive than it looks on paper because of the trip she had racing down on a deep rail, and although she's won both her races on the lead I think she's probably better off when she does not have to be rushed early."

Crimson and Roses was scheduled to face Running Debate a second time under allowance conditions earlier this month, but missed the opportunity when she came down with a cough prior to the race. But she has worked impressively up to the J j'sdream, according to trainer Jim Hatchett.

No matter the outcome Saturday, the J j's Dream is likely to mark the last meeting between the two fillies for some time because Crimson and Roses is not eligible to the Stallion Series.

While Running Debate and Crimson and Roses are the two to beat in the 5 1/2-furlong J j'sdream the competition does include several other speedy fillies, including Heavenly Miss, Forest Native, and the undefeated pair of Formal Miss and Meama.

Heavenly Miss was an easy winner of her debut on May 31. She finished a distant third behind Crimson and Roses's stablemate Hear No Evil when pitted against males on June 18.

Forest Native gave Running Debate all she could handle before finishing a tiring second in their only encounter.

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