06/08/2006 11:00PM

Two speeds square off in Vagrancy

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ELMONT, N.Y. - Destined for a showdown in next month's Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap at Calder, Dubai Escapade and Smokey Glacken will square off in a preliminary match in Sunday's Grade 2, $150,000 Vagrancy Handicap at Belmont Park.

The two fleet fillies are both 3 for 3 in 2006, and their running styles are such that they figure to hook up from the outset in the 6 1/2-furlong dash. Both fillies have been freshened since winning stakes last out, and both will carry 120 pounds.

, a 4-year-old daughter of Awesome Again, has won 4 of 5 lifetime starts and comes off a career-best effort winning the Grade 2 Madison Stakes at Keeneland on April 12. She received a brief respite on a Lexington, Ky., farm following her Madison win and has returned with a strong work tab.

"She's on top of her game," trainer Eoin Harty said earlier this week after Dubai Escapade fired a best-of-66 half-mile breeze over Belmont's main track. "She's pretty one-dimensional - it's not like you can take back and make a run. Her early speed seems to be her biggest asset."

Edgar Prado, aboard for Dubai Escapade's last start, is back aboard on Sunday from post 6.

, a 5-year-old daughter of Forestry, has won three graded stakes this year, including the Grade 2 Breeders' Cup Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct on March 25. She has won 5 of 7 stakes starts since last August and also brings a strong work tab into this showdown.

Trainer Jimmy Jerkens said he doesn't mind having a hard race before the Princess Rooney.

"The cakewalk races don't do horses any good," Jerkens said. "She needs to run hard."

Having drawn post 2, Smokey Glacken is likely committed to go to the front. Jerkens doesn't mind that, either.

"I'm sure [Dubai Escapade] is fast, but I don't know if she has the same early speed we do," Jerkens said.

Gary Contessa, the trainer of , would like nothing better than to see Dubai Escapade and Smokey Glacken hook up early. Magnolia Jackson figures to stalk the pace under Norberto Arroyo Jr., who rides his last day in New York before moving his tack to California.

Magnolia Jackson has won 5 of her last 6 races, with a neck loss to Smokey Glacken in the Distaff her only blemish.

"That last half a furlong is all me," Contessa said. "I wish I had another half a furlong the last time I faced Smokey Glacken. The more speed the merrier. My filly loves to sit back in the pocket and come with her run."