07/19/2001 11:00PM

Second time ought to be better


MIAMI - Double Road's first stakes appearance was a disastrous sixth-place finish in the Doradoradora Handicap last summer at Calder. But chances are she will fare much better when stepping up to the top level for the second time in her career in Sunday's $30,000 Mia's Hope Stakes.

Double Road was hard used contesting the pace before bearing out and stopping to a walk as the 6-5 favorite in the Doradoradora. She was given several months off to recuperate from the disappointing performance but needed almost a year before she would finally return to the winner's circle with an easy allowance victory here on June 25. She followed that effort with an even more impressive seven-length decision 13 days later and will enter the 1 1/16-mile Mia's Hope in the best form of her career.

Double Road, who surprisingly must concede one pound to the multiple handicap winner, Castlebrook, in the Mia's Hope, appears to be the controlling speed in the race. That should give the 5-year-old Double Road the edge she needs to earn her first stakes win for owner-trainer-breeder Stanley Ersoff.

Castlebrook showed a new dimension when she rallied from near the back of the pack to readily draw off by nearly two lengths in the Ms. Jealski Handicap on June 25, adding that victory to a pair of stakes tallies last season. She continues to do well, according to Bill Kaplan, who trains the filly for owners Herb and Ione Elkins.

Coolbythepool is hoping for a little better luck than she encountered in the Ms Jealski when she was held in the gate by an assistant starter for several seconds before finally breaking far behind the field. A stretch- running filly, Coolbythepool won a pair of allowance sprints and was also a fast-closing second in the seven-furlong Enjoy the Silence Handicap at Hialeah earlier this year.

Queen of Oz returns to the main track off a disappointing showing in the restricted Georgia on My Mind Handicap. In her previous start, she upset the Aspidistra Handicap on turf with a bold last to first run from the far turn to the wire.

No Mo Strawberries, a game second in the Ms. Jealski, and Tour Hostess round out the starting lineup.

Passionate Bird impressive again

Trainer Ron Spatz could have himself the favorite for the opening leg of the filly division of this year's Florida Stallion Series in Passionate Bird, who won for the second time in as many starts by easily wiring preliminary allowance rivals Friday. In her first start, Passionate Bird overcame trouble at the break to rally from off the pace to a similar easy victory. The $75,000 Desert Vixen Stakes at six furlongs begins the Stallion Series on Aug. 11.

Women dominate last race

It was ladies day in the finale here Friday when female riders took down the first five spots in the bottom-priced maiden claiming dash. Apprentice jockeys Patra Jean and Charlene Hunt battled through the stretch before Hunt came out on top with 25-1 Trial Promise, who outgamed Manny Manny for the victory.

Rosemary Homeister Jr. finished third aboard the favored Midnite Star, followed by Jocy Gomez aboard Sing for Dixie and Shawna Shelton, who was fifth on the slow-breaking P M's Snacks.