11/19/2003 12:00AM

Softer spot for Fait Accompli


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - After taking a shot in the Grade 3 Tempted Stakes, Fait Accompli drops back into New York-bred company Friday when she heads an eight-horse field in a $44,000 entry-level allowance race restricted to 2-year-old statebred fillies at Aqueduct.

Fait Accompli, a daughter of Louis Quatorze, beat statebreds on opening day of the Belmont fall meet, her second career start. She ran back in the Joseph A. Gimma Stakes, where she was beaten nine lengths while finishing second to Capeside Lady.

Fait Accompli came out of that race with an ulcer on the cornea of one of her eyes. It was serious enough for trainer Tom Bush to ship Fait Accompli to the New Bolton Center, an equine hospital in Pennsylvania.

Doctors were able to save the eye, but the problem forced Fait Accompli to miss the Maid of the Mist on New York Showcase Day. Fait Accompli returned to competition in the Grade 3 Tempted, where she finished fourth, 10 1/2 lengths behind La Reina.

"It was ambitious," Bush said. "I was just hoping somebody might stub their toe so we could get third for the mare.

"She seemed to come out of the race really, really well. I thought about waiting for the [East View Stakes on Dec. 7], but she's doing so well I wanted to run her."

Bush also wants to try Fait Accompli at Friday's one-mile distance to determine if she can run longer or if she will be kept sprinting next year.

"She's bred to go this far - some of her family went this far," Bush said. "She's still got to go out and do it for us."

Schemer, a daughter of Concern, may go off the favorite after winning her maiden by 12 3/4 lengths and finishing second to Capeside Lady in the slowly run Maid of the Mist.

An interesting horse could be Nevaeh, whose name is "Heaven" spelled backward. The daughter of Honor Grades overcame a stumble at the start to win her maiden at first asking. She was subsequently sold by trainer Steve Asmussen and owner Mike Mulligan and is now trained by Richard DeStasio.

"I think she'll do anything you want - that's the way she seems to be," DeStasio said. "Aaron [Gryder] said she didn't get rattled when she stumbled, she just got herself together and was in front. I was amazed she stumbled, got herself together, and was in front that quick.''

Leedle Dee has won at the distance, while Evening Edition showed marked improvement from her first to second starts.