11/28/2008 1:00AM

Sky Diva returns to dirt for Demoiselle


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - If Sky Diva runs as well on this trip to New York as she did on her last, she will be near-impossible to beat in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Demoiselle Stakes at Aqueduct.

Eight weeks ago, Sky Diva inhaled her nine rivals in drawing clear to a 3 3/4-length victory in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont Park. Off that, she was sent off the second choice in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and wound up finishing third behind favored Stardom Bound, who will most certainly be crowned champion 2-year-old filly.

Now, Sky Diva meets five seemingly inferior rivals in the Demoiselle, run at 1 1/8 miles around two turns.

Steve Klesaris, trainer of Sky Diva, said he thought his filly did well to be third in the Breeders' Cup after racing relatively close to a hot early pace.

"The horses that were in front of her and even the one or two right behind her ended up at the back of the pack,'' Klesaris said Thursday from the Fair Hill Training Center. "She was the only one near a hot pace scenario that hung in there for any piece at all.''

Though Klesaris felt Sky Diva handled the synthetic surface at Santa Anita, "I prefer her on the dirt,'' he said. Prior to the Frizette, Sky Diva won a maiden race by 10 lengths on dirt.

Klesaris said he and owner Jeff Puglisi targeted the Demoiselle immediately after the Breeders' Cup.

"Prior to putting her away we wanted to race her back on dirt," Klesaris said. "The Demoiselle was the right race; a mile and an eighth is something certainly she would like.''

Sky Diva will break from post 5 under Ramon Dominguez.

Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. sends out Ain't Love Grand and is undaunted by the presence of the Grade 1-winning Sky Diva. Ain't Love Grand is coming off an 11-length maiden win going seven furlongs at Belmont on Oct. 5 in her third start. That was an off-the-turf race scheduled for 1 1/16 miles.

"She's just been telling us since she's come to us that she wants to go long,'' Dutrow said. "We entered her for the grass because we wanted her to go two turns; it didn't materialize.

"I'm not afraid of any of these fillies in the race,'' Dutrow added. "I have a lot of confidence in our horse. She's a very nice filly and she's been dying to go long and she's doing great, so I have to really be excited about this race for her.''

Ain't Love Grand has broken very sharply in all three of her starts and may try to control the pace in here under Cornelio Velasquez. There are other pace-setting types in the field, such as Stormy's Smile and Boleyn.

Springside, a daughter of Awesome Again, ships down from Woodbine coming off a 10-length first-level allowance win in her first start around two turns. She followed that up with a bullet work and gets Garrett Gomez for this.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin will return Bluegrass Princess to dirt after she ran well on synthetics and turf.