11/05/2005 12:00AM

Toll Taker needs big rebound


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - An Election Day matinee Tuesday at The Meadowlands launches the final week of the New Jersey Thoroughbred season.

First post will be 1:10 p.m. Eastern for the eight-race card. The meet concludes Saturday night.

The $55,000 Miss Liberty Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile and 70 yards on the turf headlines the holiday card, and trainer Tim Hills hopes history repeats with Toll Taker.

, usually bounces back strongly from a poor effort. That pattern will be tested following a 27 1/4-length defeat in the Grade 2 Cotillion Handicap at Philadelphia Park.

Nothing went right that afternoon.

"The track favored outside closers and she got bogged down on the rail," said Hills. "I also experimented with blinkers on her for the second time, and they just aren't for her. So, what could go wrong, did go wrong that day."

Earlier this year, Toll Taker suffered a similar loss when she hit the gate at the break in the Grade 3 Old Hat Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Toll Taker snapped back to take the Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.

She ran last in the Grade 2 Comely Stakes at Aqueduct before winning the off-the-turf Boiling Springs Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Based on that pattern, Hills said he anticipates a solid effort in the Miss Liberty with the blinkers removed.

"I expect her to race well," he said. "She has had two good works at Belmont Park since the Cotillion."

In addition to the Boiling Springs, a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Monmouth Breeders' Cup Oaks was Toll Taker's other highlight of the summer.

She has run on the turf once before, offering a mild rally to get third in an ungraded stakes at Delaware Park.

"It was a paceless race, but she ran well," Hill said of that effort four months ago.

Lil's Golden Crown makes her first start since running sixth in a restricted turf stakes in late August at Saratoga.

"Like many of the East Coast turf horses, she hasn't had the chance to race in the last 10 or 12 weeks because of the weather," Hills said. "She's a little different in class. Toll Taker has already proven herself with stakes wins and more earnings."

Croisiere will make her second U.S. start after seven races in Europe. Trained by Christophe Clement, she ran fifth in the Martha Washington Breeders' Cup Stakes at Laurel.