04/11/2006 11:00PM

Sensation returns in sprint stakes


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The experiment to stretch Sensation out in distance in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies didn't work. So, trainer Stanley Hough will most likely concentrate on keeping the filly sprinting this year.

Hough appears to have found the right spot in which to bring Sensation back in Friday's $60,000 Road Princess Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Aqueduct. A field of eight was entered for the 6 1/2-furlong race.

Sensation lived up to her name more often than not as a 2-year-old, winning 3 of 5 starts, including the Grade 3 Astarita Stakes at Belmont Park.

With the Breeders' Cup being held at Belmont, Hough took a shot by running her in the Juvenile Fillies at 1 1/16 miles. Sensation finished fifth to Folklore that day, and subsequent X-rays found a chip in an ankle. Sensation underwent surgery to have the chip removed and did not return to the work tab until March 4.

Sensation shows strong works leading up to her return, including three bullets at the Palm Meadows training center in Florida. She completed her preparations for the Road Princess with a strong half-mile move in 47.26 seconds Tuesday at Belmont Park.

"They were all working pretty fast the last couple of days," Hough said. "I think she's fit enough to run."

Sensation was good enough to win her debut by 11 lengths last July at Belmont, beating two horses - Win McCool and Swap Fliparoo - whom she faces in the Road Princess. Sensation will break from the rail under Eibar Coa, who rode her in all five of her starts last year.

The Road Princess drew a couple of interesting fillies. Ring True is 2 for 2, including a victory in the Dearly Precious Stakes over the inner track on Feb. 20. She worked a bullet half-mile in 47.09 seconds Tuesday over Belmont Park's training track for trainer Jimmy Jerkens, who is off to a 5 for 11 start at this meet. Ring True drew post 6 and must carry 123 pounds, spotting the rest of the field five to seven pounds.

Swap Fliparoo ran second in the Grade 3 Old Hat on Feb 4, then finished a well-beaten fourth in the Cicada over the inner track in March. She did win an allowance race over Aqueduct's main track last November. Swap Fliparoo will get Lasix for the first time on Friday.

All Bets Down was an eight-length maiden winner over the inner track in her second start. Bella Fortuna was a smart-looking maiden winner at Belmont in October and comes off a second-place finish in an allowance race at Gulfstream last month.