08/09/2001 11:00PM

No rain will mean two no-go's


MIAMI - Sunday's $32,000 Delta Love Stakes for 3-year-old fillies has drawn two of the premier members of the division stabled here this summer, Valid Forbes and Happily Unbridled.

Unfortunately, the race is scheduled on the turf, and unless Mother Nature intervenes and forces management to switch the overnight event to the main track, neither of those fillies will run.

Trainers Happy Alter and Ralph Ziadie have entered Happily Unbridled and Valid Forbes for dirt only. Happily Unbridled, who has been idle since finishing a tiring seventh in Churchill Downs's Dogwood Stakes, a Grade 3, on May 26 has never even run on grass, while Valid Forbes finished a well -beaten seventh in the Tropical Park Oaks the only time she tried the turf.

"I just felt it would be unfair to my filly to put her on a surface that is foreign to her, coming back the first time from a long layoff and after having run against the kind of horses she competed against prior to the layoff," said Alter.

"To be honest, she's really not quite ready to run her best. I'd rather have another two weeks of training in her, but the office said they needed me, so I obliged them if the race winds up on the dirt.

"If the race stays on the turf, then I hope when she is ready to run they'll oblige me and find me a spot on the dirt, since there isn't a stakes race on the main track for 3-year-old fillies until early September [meaning the Judy's Red Shoes]."

Valid Forbes stretched out around two turns for the first time since the Tropical Oaks and posted an easy victory in the Designated Dancer Stakes on July 29. If she does start Sunday, she will be reunited with jockey Julio Garcia, her regular rider at 2, who guided the daughter of Valid Appeal to victories in the Desert Vixen and My Dear Girl Stakes in 2000.

Free The Magic, the only multiple winner on turf in the starting lineup for the Delta Love, would likely be the slight favorite if the race goes as scheduled at 7 1/2 furlongs on the grass. Free The Magic was stakes-placed on the turf on a couple of occasions this spring at Hialeah.

Horsemen approve extra purse

The additional $75,000 in purse money for Saturday's second division of the Dr. Fager Stakes, opening leg of the Florida Stallion Series, came from the horseman's general purse account, but not without the permission of the Florida Division of the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, who agreed to let management use the extra money to fund the added race.

"In the past when one of the Stallion races were split, so was the purse, but since this is the premier event for 2-year-olds in Florida we felt it was proper that the horses who nominated and paid their fees to run in the race should be able to compete for the whole purse as written in the conditions," said Linda Mills, president of the FHBPA.