03/14/2007 12:00AM

Special Dream steps up

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Special Dream will make her graded stakes debut Saturday in the $100,000 Cicada Stakes at Aqueduct.

The Grade 3 Cicada, for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs, is the main event at Aqueduct this weekend.

The Cicada looks like an opportune time for Special Dream to take the plunge, following a commanding eight-length win in the Big A's Dearly Precious Stakes on Feb. 17.

Trained by Philadelphia Park-based trainer Guadalupe Preciado, Special Dream will make her fourth straight start over the inner track in the Cicada.

Special Dream has shown steady improvement in all three New York races. Special Dream ran third, then second to Golden Dreamer before turning the tables on that rival in the Dearly Precious.

"We were getting closer and closer to her," Preciado said "Mentally, my filly is getting more relaxed. She used to be a little hyper. Like all horses, the older they get, the more they learn to relax.

"She's training very well. She's doing everything we ask. Hopefully, she'll run good."

Other likely Cicada runners, according to Aqueduct stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes, include Becky's Flute, who last out won Aqueduct's Dat U Miz Blue Stakes for New York-breds, Five Star Daydream, Glacken's Mark, and Hungarian Boatbaby. Control System is listed as a possibility.

Twenty-five cash in on carryover

The pick six to start the new week was sweetened by a $44,523 carryover from Sunday. Bettors responded by wagering $223,258 on Wednesday.

Players backing favorites were in immediate trouble, as the first two legs went to 8-1 shots. Stratofan, a first-timer saddled by Bruce Levine, won at 8-1 as the colt held off a stretch challenge from 6-5 choice Monetary Policy in a maiden claimer in the fourth race.

Jersey Gia, debuting for owner-trainer Peter Kazamias following a $25,000 claim, posted a front-running victory over Birdie Run, with Lunar Rendezvous, the 9-5 favorite, third in the second leg. Grand Idea was a late scratch, and all pick six wagers on the 7-2 shot on the morning line were losers on the transfer to Lunar Rendezvous.

Favorites took the next three: Graynumberfive at 2-1 followed by the entry of Flightofthepelican and Talking Treasure, who were one-two in the fourth leg at 4-5.

Kong's Revenge, the even-money favorite in the fifth leg, was a gate scratch. The chalk players were saved on the transfer to Cherokee Country, who got up late to win at 2-1.

Touch of the Poet, the 3-1 second choice, took the final leg.

There were 25 winners who each got $6,803. The consolation for 5 of 6 paid $75.