10/27/2001 12:00AM

Romans tries to keep it going with 'Missile'


Fresh off a dominating meet at Keeneland, where he won the trainers' title with 13 wins, trainer Dale Romans hopes his luck continues during the 24-day meet at Churchill Downs, which began Sunday. Romans saddles Dancing Missile in Tuesday's feature, a $50,700 three-other-than allowance contested at six furlongs.

Dancing Missile started as a 14-1 outsider in a two-other-than allowance on Oct. 14 at Keeneland. Dancing Missile led every step of the way to win by two lengths, earning a career-best 100 Beyer Figure. That victory ended a winless drought of nearly 14 months for Dancing Missile, whose previous win was at Saratoga in August 2000.

Craig Perret, aboard for the Keeneland win, will again ride Dancing Missile.

The main threat could be Accelerant, a winner of 3 of 5 starts, including the Florence Stakes at Turfway in January. Accelerant has had only one start since February, a wire-to-wire victory in allowance company at Arlington on Aug. 16. In his only previous start at Churchill, Accelerant ran fifth behind stablemate Dream Run and Derby winner Monarchos in a maiden race last fall.

With Dancing Missile and Accelerant likely to add fuel to a heated pace, some bettors will look to a closer to wear down the leaders. Mountain General, one of several such contenders, won an allowance at Saratoga by coming from off the pace. In his last start, Mountain General was jostled at the start of the $100,000 Kingland at The Meadowlands, and rallied to finish fourth.

Others with a chance include Here Comes Rocket and Lake Austin. Here Comes Rocket made his second start of the year in an Oct. 10 allowance at Keeneland, finishing third, beaten 10 lengths. He appears to be over physical problems that limited him to two starts in the last 13 months.

Lake Austin won the first two races of his career at the Churchill spring meet and should appreciate returning to his favorite track.

Post time for the nine-race card is 12:40 p.m.