03/18/2002 12:00AM

Party Queen: looks good; is beatable


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Party Queen has the makings of a stakes winner from the looks of her first two starts, both of which were easy come-from-behind victories on the turf. But as bright as Party Queen's future appears, even the filly's trainer, Victoria Oliver, thinks she could prove vulnerable when she races under second level allowance conditions in Wednesday's $36,000 feature at Gulfstream Park.

Party Queen won her first two starts by a combined 8 1/2 lengths, including an easy allowance victory early in the meet. Those efforts earned her a start in the Gaily Gaily Stakes on March 1, but when rain forced the race to be moved off the grass, Oliver scratched Party Queen. So she goes into Wednesday's one-mile race off a nine-week layoff.

"It's not so much the time in between starts that concerns me for this race as much as the distance, competition, and especially the turf course," Oliver said from her Payson Park headquarters on Monday. "Nothing has really backed up over this course since they moved the rail out last week. And this is a much better field than she's faced before. She just might not be able to close on them like she did the others. She's going to be put to the test and will have to prove herself now. If she happens to win, this race will set her up nicely for the Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland [April 10]. If not, it will set her up for a two-other-than, which is at 1 1/8 miles, and that distance will suit her even better."

Mark Guidry will take his regular seat aboard Party Queen in Wednesday's headliner.

Party Queen figures to get her sternest tests from Stylelistick and Lush Soldier, who finished first and second, respectively, when they met as 2-year-olds in Keeneland's Green River Stakes. Stylelistick rallied five wide to an easy 2 3/4-length victory in her stakes debut, but has been idle since closing out her 3-year-old campaign by finishing ninth in Hollywood Park's Miesque Stakes. She has trained well for trainer Bill Mott at Payson Park.

Lush Soldier has not started since finishing fifth in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes on Feb. 3. She, too, is a stakes winner, having captured Woodbine's Grade 3 Natalma at 2.

Another horse to watch is the well bred Every Cloud, a daughter of Storm Cat and half-sister to turf stakes winner Green Means Go. Every Cloud has won two of three starts for trainer Graham Motion, but has yet to run on turf or beyond six furlongs.

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