06/29/2005 11:00PM

My Dear could belong to Americans


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - United States invaders have certainly held their own at Woodbine this year, and the trend may continue Saturday, when Successful Romance and Honey Gold ship in to contest the $137,750 My Dear Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.

Successful Romance, based in New York with trainer Todd Pletcher, could be the favorite in the five-furlong dash. She took her debut at Keeneland by 8 1/2 lengths over a sloppy track and then finished third after an awkward break in the five-furlong Fashion Stakes at Belmont.

Honey Gold won her lone outing by three lengths May 26 at Arlington, beating several next-out maiden winners. She has breezed quickly in the interim for trainer Mike Stidham, who has been winning at a 20 percent clip this year.

Among the local contenders in the My Dear are Sudsy Baby, Wannatalkaboutme, Arzu, and Knights Templar.

Sudsy Baby encountered traffic problems on the turn before rallying for third in her debut. In her second outing, she went right to the front and never looked back, scoring in good time for a 73 Beyer Speed Figure.

"I thought she ran a big race in her first start," said trainer Stanley Baresich. "She tried to go inside, but there was no room there, and she got shut off and lost her momentum. The second time, she had a good trip and got the job done. I was a little surprised that she showed that much speed, because I've always thought she'd be much better going farther."

Wannatalkaboutme was impressive taking her June 10 debut over $40,000 maidens by 6 1/2 lengths, with a 79 Beyer. Trainer Nick Gonzalez revealed Wannatalkaboutme has a breathing problem that will likely impede her future development, which is why he ran her for a claiming price first time out.

"She had been training like gangbusters all along," Gonzalez said, "but when she was scoped, we found out that she's paralyzed on the right side, and her airway is about half the normal size. It's only a matter time before that catches up with her. You can't operate on it. The constricted airway she has is genetic; she was born with it."

Wannatalkaboutme is owned by M.A.D Racing Stable and Gonzalez's wife, Martha, the same partnership that owns last year's champion 2-year-old, Wholelottabourbon.

Arzu defeated males in her May 8 opener. The runner-up from that maiden special, Vibank, came back to capture the Victoria Stakes.

Knights Templar outlasted Sudsy Baby and Tempestuous when she won her only start in slow time May 21.