02/18/2008 12:00AM

Sherine shortens up off romp


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Sherine, a dominant winner of the East View Stakes going long in her last start, returns from a brief freshening to head a seven-horse field entered in Sunday's $75,000 Dearly Precious Stakes going six furlongs at Aqueduct.

The Dearly Precious, restricted to 3-year-old fillies, will be Sherine's first start since Dec. 2, when she went gate to wire to win the East View at 1 1/16 miles by 3 3/4 lengths. Prior to that, Sherine won a six-furlong allowance race by 11 1/4 lengths, albeit against New York-breds.

Trainer Tony Dutrow said the freshening was by design and that he decided to bring Sherine back going short because he wants to run her back in the Grade 3, $100,000 Cicada, also at six furlongs, here on March 15.

"This gets her started in her 3-year-old year," said Dutrow, who trains Sherine for Ahmed Zayat. "She's doing extremely well. I couldn't be happier with her and how she's doing. I'm sure she'll run a very good race - she always does."

Sherine has displayed plenty of speed sprinting and routing, and there appears to be plenty of speed lined up for this field. Sherine breaks from post 2 under Alan Garcia.

Miss Red Delicious, who was supplemented to the race for $750, set the pace in last year's Grade 2 Matron, while Sumptuous cuts back to a sprint after a troubled-trip third in the Busanda going a mile and 70 yards last out.

Three horses in here are making their debuts for new connections. Trainer Gary Contessa sends out both True Intentions and Ready for Fortune. Contessa is particularly psyched to run True Intentions, despite the fact she has not been out since winning a 4 1/2-furlong maiden race for trainer Kelly Breen last May at Delaware Park. She also was supplemented to this race.

"Trust me, I think she's ready," Contessa said. "She's really training up a storm; she does everything incredibly good."

Mikeslittlegirl, makes her first start for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. after winning all three of her starts in Charles Town for trainer and still part-owner Ernest Haynes.

* Aqueduct will offer free admission, parking and programs to its patrons all weekend, including for Monday's Presidents Day card.

* Richard Dutrow Jr. said Friday that he was going to scratch Stormin' Normandy from Saturday's $75,000 Hollie Hughes Handicap to run in Monday's Grade 2, $300,000 General George Handicap at Laurel Park.