05/09/2006 12:00AM

Nothing But Fun returns


ELMONT, N.Y. - Handicappers looking to get a handle on the filly-and-mare division should go to school on Thursday's feature at Belmont Park, a $65,000 overnight stakes named the Mil Kilates. The mile race drew a field of six, all 4-year-old fillies.

All except , a restricted stakes winner at Belmont last fall, return from a layoff.

Nothing But Fun starts for the first time since finishing seventh in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, a decent effort considering she beat half the field her first time in Grade 1 company.

began her career with maiden and first-level allowance wins at Belmont last spring, and went into the Distaff a perfect 4 for 4 after winning the Victory Ride at Saratoga and the Grade 2 Cotillion Handicap at Philadelphia Park.

"A mile is a great distance for her, but I don't know about a mile first time back," said trainer Mike Hushion, who noted that a similar stakes scheduled for opening day at 6 1/2 furlongs failed to fill.

"Things have gone according to plan, giving her this time off to have her ready for the right time of the year. She light-trained up here, then in January we sent her to Palm Meadows and she spent two months there, same routine as the year before."

A solid effort on Thursday could propel Nothing But Fun into the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Handicap on June 17.

"Our goal for the year is to win a Grade 1 with her," said Hushion.

The main speed in Thursday's race is , a Darley Stable homebred who won two dirt races at Nad Al Sheba last year in front-running fashion, including the UAE Oaks.

In her U.S. debut, and first start for Tom Albertrani, Satin Kiss chased a fast pace at Tampa Bay Downs back in February and finished a clear second going seven furlongs.

"A little shorter than what she really wants to go, and that was one of the quickest paces I've ever seen run at Tampa," said Albertrani, who won with 11 of 29 starters at Belmont's 2005 spring meet. "This looks like it could be a good spot for her. Stretching out is probably what she wants to do."

Dance Away Capote, a three-time stakes winner, runs for the first time since finishing fifth in the Alabama last summer. She wintered at Payson Park for her new trainer, Bill Mott. No Sleep and Tomorrows Lady start for the first time since late March.