12/31/2005 1:00AM

Should be fun following these three


OLDSMAR, Fla. - There's nothing more enjoyable than being able to say you saw a good horse win for the first time. The excitement of following a promising young horse isn't just confined to horseplayers and racing enthusiasts; the people who make a living in the business get just as excited when they see a young horse they feel has the potential to be something special.

Since the Tampa Bay meeting began, several young runners have won maiden races in a fashion that suggests they may have a bright future. Although you can never know which youngsters will fulfill their potential and which will fall by the wayside, here are three who could well turn out to be what folks in the business like to call "runners."

Dramatic Style: A Thunder Gulch filly, Dramatic Style was burning up the racetrack in the morning before her career debut Dec. 17, and those blistering works were noted by bettors, who sent her off as the 6-5 favorite. Dramatic Style didn't disappoint. She chased the early leaders from the outside and gained the lead after three furlongs of that six-furlong sprint. But it was her actions in the final quarter-mile that stamped her as something special. After settling into the stretch with a clear lead, Dramatic Style was asked by her jockey, Jose Lezcano, to kick on, and she responded with a flourish, dropping her head and kicking into another gear to motor off to a comfortable lead past the furlong marker. Dramatic Style stayed focused and won by almost three lengths while covering the six furlongs in 1:11.84.

Trained by Charles Simon, Dramatic Style could see action next in the Gasparilla Stakes on Jan. 21.

Sweet Grass Creek: This Saint Ballado colt showed maturity in his second start, easing back off the lead after an alert start in the 1 1/16-mile race, then challenging out of the second turn. He outgamed another promising colt, the Dale Bennett-trained Prosico. There is plenty of black type in the family of Sweet Grass Creek's mother, Adoradancer, and he is trained by Joan Scott, who excels at developing young talent.

Mr. d'Or: Trained by Bennett, this Tour d'Or colt looks to have some potential. Mr. d'Or contested the pace from the start of a six-furlong sprint and shook off a determined challenge from Atlantic Penn, a full brother to the highly talented Penn Pacific, through the stretch to edge clear late and win by almost two lengths. Mr. d'Or was making just his second start.