05/13/2004 11:00PM

'Rodeo' goes extra furlong


ELMONT, N.Y. - An especially strong group of New York-bred 3-year-old fillies will run in Sunday's $100,000-added Bouwerie Stakes at Belmont Park.

The likely favorite in the seven-furlong Bouwerie is , who won the Fashion Stakes against open company here last June. Another top contender is Capeside Lady, who was named last year's champion 2-year-old New York-bred filly.

The 11-horse field also includes Ihaveadate, who won a division of the New York Stallion Stakes in her last start, and Leedle Dee, who won last year's East View Stakes.

After the Fashion, Rodeo Licious had an ankle chip removed and didn't race again until April 3 at Aqueduct. A front-runner, Rodeo Licious set the pace in the six-furlong race, which she won by 5 1/2 lengths over older fillies and mares, in her first start for trainer Bruce Levine.

"She trained like she was ready, but we had to see if she could make that transition from 2 to 3," Levine said.

The Bouwerie will be Rodeo Licious's first start beyond six furlongs.

"It's kind of foreign territory, but she's very relaxed in the mornings, and I don't think she needs the lead," Levine said.

Mike Luzzi rides Rodeo Licious from post 3.

, a winner of two restricted stakes at Belmont last year, both over wet tracks, makes her first start since Oct. 18.

"She's been in training since March 1 and should be pretty fit," said Todd Pletcher, Capeside Lady's trainer. Pletcher also noted that Capeside Lady won her debut, an indication that she runs well fresh.

John Velazquez rides Capeside Lady, who drew the rail and figures to be dogging Rodeo Licious early.

Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. says he hopes Mistda can sit off a fast pace. In her last start, Mistda came from off the pace to win a mile allowance race by 8 3/4 lengths at Aqueduct.

"I thinks she fits well here, and it should set up good for her," said Dutrow, who won this race in 2002 with Carson Hollow.

Ihaveadate, trained by Mike Hernandez, cuts back in distance after setting the pace to win the one-mile Park Avenue Stakes at Aqueduct on April 25. "I would rather she didn't have to cut back," Hernandez said. "The pace was easy in her last race."

Wild Berry won an allowance race here by seven lengths last September and then ran poorly in three subsequent stakes starts. Wild Berry's last race - a third in the Legal Light at Delaware Park last month - suggests she might be coming around.