05/31/2006 11:00PM

Much to like about Joint Effort

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - It was four weeks ago Saturday that Joint Effort handled a Todd Pletcher standout with surprising ease. The race was the La Troienne Stakes, the sixth on the Kentucky Derby card, and Joint Effort earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 103 when she defeated the Pletcher-trained favorite, Adieu, by 3 1/4 lengths.

Not surprisingly, trainer Dale Romans is looking forward to watching Joint Effort make her return to action Saturday in the $150,000 Dogwood Breeders' Cup Stakes, a Grade 3 race in which the filly figures to vie for favoritism with the Pletcher-trained Ready to Please.

, with Rene Douglas to ride, will break from post 7 in the Dogwood, run at one mile out of the chute, in an attempt to continue the upward mobility that Romans has always hoped for her. The 7 1/2-furlong La Troienne was the second stakes win for Joint Effort, a Runaway Groom filly whose richest triumph came in the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Oaks in January.

"She's doing great, she loves the one turn, and she loves this track, so I think she'll be the horse to beat," said Romans.

(post 2) won the April 14 Fantasy Stakes in her last start and was under consideration for the May 5 Kentucky Oaks before being withdrawn by Pletcher.

"She's trained right along since getting here after the Fantasy," said Pletcher's assistant, Whitey McCarthy.

figure as fringe players with their best efforts. Coronado's Vision, trained by Frank Brothers, was a beaten favorite on the Arkansas Derby undercard in her last start, while Coolwind, a Chicago shipper trained by Greg Geier, stands to improve off a recent runner-up finish in an Arlington sprint stakes.

One of the Dogwood longshots is Victorina, who has never been worse than second in four starts, all at six furlongs or shorter.

"We don't get one-turn miles back home," said Victorina's northern California-based trainer, Greg Gilchrist. "I've never seen her not try, and I've never seen her not finish well."

The balance of the Dogwood field is Performing Diva, Lake Alice, Humorous Gal, and Joyful Rhapsody.

* The Texas Glitter overnight handicap is the finale of the 11-race Saturday card and is the final leg of an all-stakes pick four. Ten turf sprint specialists, led by Atticus Kristy and Mighty Beau, were entered in the $70,000 race.