02/03/2005 1:00AM

Sis City's early speed an advantage


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The East Coast road to the Kentucky Oaks begins at Gulfstream Park on Saturday when Sis City, Dance Away Capote, and In the Gold match strides in the $150,000 Davona Dale Stakes. Seven 3-year-old fillies entered the Grade 2 fixture, which for the first time in its 18-year history will be decided at 1 1/8 miles, up from last year's 1 1/16.

Sis City and Dance Away Capote will meet for the first time since finishing fourth and fifth - just a neck apart - in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. In the Gold was also slated to run in the Juvenile Fillies, but skipped the race after becoming ill during Breeders' Cup week.

, with her early speed, may have the edge over her two main rivals Saturday. A daughter of Slew City Slew, Sis City was claimed for $50,000 out of her maiden win at Saratoga on Aug. 5. Despite her off-the-board finish in the Breeders' Cup, she turned in a game performance, contesting all the pace after being hung wide around the opening turn before finally succumbing once headed by Sweet Catomine inside the eighth pole.

"Her race in the Breeders' Cup was unbelievable," said trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. "She's coming up to this race real well. It's the first time she's had proper spacing between her races since we claimed her. Naturally it would be nice if she could get an uncontested lead. It looks that way on paper, but she's still going to have to go out and earn it."

could not overcome a sluggish start and traffic trouble on the turn of the Juvenile Fillies, but finished willingly once clear. In her previous start, Dance Away Capote was beaten less than a length despite a wide trip in the Grade 2 Alcibiades.

"We've been pointing for this race since we got down here," said trainer Graham Motion. "She's trained well, and I think she'll love the mile and one-eighth."

In the Gold has the advantage of a race over the track. A daughter of Golden Missile, she rallied to a 1 1/2-length entry-level allowance victory going a mile here on Jan. 13 for her second win in five starts. In the Gold finished third, a half-length in front of Dance Away Capote, when the pair met in the Alcibiades.

"I think having a race over the track will be to her advantage," said Nick Zito, who trains In the Gold for the Live Oak Plantation.

Rounding out the lineup are Mocita, Kristen Kristen, Leona's Knight, and Jill Robin L.