04/10/2003 11:00PM

Randaroo looks too tough


Randaroo, unbeaten and untested in her first three career starts, figures to be an odds-on favorite again in Sunday's $75,000 Smart Halo Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies at Pimlico.

As a 2-year-old, Randaroo won her two races by a combined margin of more than 15 lengths, including the Grade 3 Valley Stream at Aqueduct. Trainer Tony Dutrow gave her three months off, and she returned with an easy 4 3/4-length win over two-other-than allowance foes in New York at 1-5 odds.

"She is awesome," said jockey Mario Pino, who rode Randaroo for the first time in her last victory and retains the mount. "I was just on for the ride. Tony just wanted to get a race in her and didn't want to get too much out of her, and she won easily. She is a talented horse."

Home Run Hitter, who ran second to Randaroo last month, will take another crack at her. On a day when inside speed dominated at Aqueduct, Home Run Hitter finished gamely after swinging to the outside and earned a career-best 82 Beyer Speed Figure. If she's able to move forward in her second start off a layoff, Home Run Hitter could be closer to Randaroo in the rematch.

Bamba tries stakes company for the first time after easily winning at Laurel in her last two starts, including an 89 Beyer in her most recent race.

Ryan Fogelsonger rode Bamba in her last two wins, but has accepted the mount on Pompamento, an 8 1/4-length winner of her career debut on March 22.