02/28/2004 12:00AM

Two future stakes fillies clash


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - , two fillies who figure to be headed toward stakes assignments sooner rather than later, meet up in a $34,000 entry-level allowance race on Monday's nine-race card at Gulfstream Park.

Cherry Bomb stretches out around two turns after a dynamite debut going six furlongs here on Jan. 25. In that race, Cherry Bomb dueled with Welcome Home through a half-mile in 45 seconds before running away from that rival to win by 5 1/4 lengths. She ran six furlongs in 1:10.24 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 89.

"I thought she was very impressive," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "She was basically under pressure from the get-go, shook off a nice filly, kept going, and ran fast."

Pletcher said he believes Cherry Bomb is meant to race around two turns, and her breeding - she's a daughter of Honor Grades out of the mare Jealous and Jaded - suggests she'll handle it. Jealous and Jaded is a half-sister to stakes winners Chilito and Emory Board.

"She's a big, strong filly and we've always expected her to stretch out," Pletcher said. "I don't know where we're heading for sure after this race, but if we're going to head on to the Ashland or Fantasy or something along those lines, we need to get her around two turns and I thought a mile and 70 yards is the best way to do that."

John Velazquez, who rode Daydreaming in all three of her starts last year, sticks with Cherry Bomb, whom he rode in her debut.

Daydreaming, a Phipps family homebred daughter of A.P. Indy, won her maiden going 6 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga last July. She stumbled at the start and finished a well-beaten favorite in the

Grade 1 Spinaway and was a distant fourth as the favorite in the Grade 1 Frizette.

She emerged from the Frizette with a small fracture in a hind pastern but didn't require surgery, only time off. Daydreaming has been training steadily since January at Payson Park and worked a strong half-mile in 49 seconds on Feb. 24. Jerry Bailey will ride Daydreaming in her two-turn debut.

Soul of the Cat overcame a slow start to win her maiden going seven furlongs here on Jan. 18 for trainer Frank Brothers. She has worked well since that race and should appreciate two turns.

Hot Mail makes her third start of the meeting for trainer Steve Flint. Hot Mail ran well in both of her previous starts and could be part of the early pace along with Pace Energy, with whom she dueled last time out.