07/10/2008 12:00AM

Two fresh off narrow wins clash at Colonial

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Debbie Sue and Deeliteful Star, both of whom narrowly prevailed in their return from layoffs last time out, look like prime contenders if they can avoid regression in the $60,000 Brookmeade Stakes on Saturday at Colonial Downs.

The one-mile turf race drew a field of 14 Virginia-bred fillies and mares.

The 7-year-old Debbie Sue will be coming back just two weeks after rallying from last with a quarter-mile remaining to get up by a neck in a high-priced optional claimer. That was her first start since October and her first win since the Maryland Million Ladies in October 2006.

Debbie Sue was a distant fourth in last year's Brookmeade, a race that was washed off the turf.

Deeliteful Star, a 6-year-old who has made just 14 starts, was off from April 24 until June 16, when she came from off the pace to score by a head in a first-level allowance going 1 1/16 miles.

The last time she returned less than a month after winning, Deeliteful Star finished sixth.

Top Time has won the last two times she finished the course. Between two victories in starter allowances, the deep closer lost her jockey with three-sixteenths of a mile remaining in a 1 1/16-mile second-level allowance.

Discounting Deeliteful Star and Debbie Sue, who have won three grass races apiece, Top Time's seven wins on grass are more than the combined turf wins of the other 11 horses in the Brookmeade field.