09/10/2003 11:00PM

Much-improved 'Lisa' threat on turf or dirt


MIAMI - Formal Miss and Dakota Light will likely vie for favoritism but it may be the up-and-coming Spectacular Lisa who proves the one to beat in Saturday's $75,000 Judy's Red Shoes Stakes at Calder.

The Judy's Red Shoes is carded for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. But with the availability of the grass course always a question mark here during the summer and no standouts in the division, the race lured a full field of 12, plus two also-eligibles.

Spectacular Lisa has made a big push toward the top of the division over the past couple of months. Unraced at 2 and still winless when the meet began, Spectacular Lisa has won three of her last four starts, including the Dream On Stakes, which was switched from the turf to the main track on Aug. 24. A versatile filly, Spectacular Lisa finished second, beaten less than a length by Dakota Light, in her only grass appearance in the Delta Love Stakes on July 7. Trainer Joe Calascibetta has named Paul Toscano to ride Spectacular Lisa, replacing Julio Garcia, who has chosen to ride Sweettrickydancer.

Saturday's weather forecast won't cause trainer David Brownlee to lose any sleep when it comes to Dakota Light's prospects in the Judy's Red Shoes. She is already a stakes winner on both turf and dirt at the meet, adding the Delta Love to an easy victory in the off-the-turf Raviolia Stakes. Her most important career victory came as a 2-year-old over the main track in the Three Ring Stakes. She will carry high weight of 122 pounds under the allowance conditions of the race, including jockey Gary Boulanger.

Unlike Spectacular Lisa and Dakota Light, Formal Miss appears to be a bit more of a one-dimensional filly and will likely start only if the Judy's Red Shoes remains on the grass. Formal Miss was the best of the locally based 3-year-old fillies last winter at Gulfstream Park, where she finished second in both the Gaily Gaily and Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes. She also captured her only grass start during the current meet when she outgamed Dakota Light by three-quarters a length to win the Lenta Stakes on May 3. She was scratched from the Dream On when the race came off the turf.

Running Debate, Splasha, and the improved Miss Tassy may be best of the others in the body of the Judy's Red Shoes lineup, which also includes Sweettrickydancer, Starship Daydream, Dyna Flyer, Firm Reality, Smart Juliet and P J's Eskimo. Never Fail and King's Fancy are on the also-eligible list.