09/04/2003 11:00PM

Oaks 1-2 in rematch

Dimitrova went back to Ireland after winning the American Oaks for trainer Dermot Weld.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Dimitrova and Sand Springs, the winner and runner-up in the American Oaks at Hollywood Park in July, meet again in Sunday's Grade 1 Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap at Belmont Park.

Following Dimitrova's two-length victory in the American Oaks on July 5, the filly was returned to trainer Dermot Weld's barn in Ireland. Weld considered bringing Dimitrova back to the United States to run in the Grade 1 Beverly D. at Arlington Park on Aug. 16, but decided the $250,000 Garden City was a more suitable spot. Dimitrova arrived in New York on Monday.

Unlike Dimitrova, Sand Springs has seen action since the American Oaks. She won the Grade 2 Lake Placid Handicap on Aug. 17.

Dimitrova, the 122-pound highweight, and Sand Springs, who carries 120 pounds, meet eight other 3-year-old fillies in the Garden City, a 1 1/8-mile grass race. Alchemist was entered main-track only.

The biggest threat to the top two could be Acago, the front-running winner of the Group 3 Prix Chloe, a 1 1/8-mile race at Longchamp on June 24. A Royal Academy filly, she returned in the Group 2 Prix d'Astarte, a mile race on

Aug. 3 at Deauville, and finished fourth.

"Her last race was a little short for her and it was run up the straight. She is better on the turns," said Christiane Head-Maarek, Acago's trainer. "I think she will be well suited to American racing. She likes speed and turns."

Oliver Peslier rides Acago, who drew post 6.

If Acago is sent to the early lead, she will probably get in a battle with Sand Springs. This year, Sand Springs has won 4 of 5 starts, all on the front end. When she won the Lake Placid, the easy lead that Sand Springs owned around the far turn was whittled down to less than a length at the wire.

"She was a little fresh and was ready to run," said Tony Reinstedler, Sand Springs's trainer. "I think we'll see an improved performance Sunday."

Mark Guidry rides from post 3.

Dimitrova could get the perfect stalking trip behind Sand Springs and Acago.

"She is straightforward [to ride]," Weld said. "It doesn't matter where you put her."

Jerry Bailey rides Dimitrova, who drew post 5.

Spoken Fur, unraced on the turf, may not run, as she also was entered in Saturday's Gazelle. Campsie Fells and Baie are the two other foreign invaders. Ocean Drive has been beaten as the favorite in her two starts in graded company.