07/26/2001 12:00AM

Unbridled Elaine following big acts


OCEANPORT, N.J. - The past two runnings of the Grade 2 $250,000 Monmouth Breeders' Cup Oaks have included two-time champion filly Silverbulletday in 1999 and Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Spain in 2000. This year's running on Saturday doesn't have one star filly, but it has Unbridled Elaine, who has the potential and talent to rise to the top tier of her generation.

Unbridled Elaine has only six career starts, and she has gotten better with each start. She was stabled in the barn of Dallas Stewart until her last start, when she was transferred to David Vance. While under Stewart, she had three wins in five starts, including a victory in the Pocahontas Stakes as a juvenile and a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Acorn at Belmont June 8.

Unbridled Elaine's owner, Roger Deavenport, sent her to Vance a week before the Iowa Oaks, and she dominated the field by 8 3/4 lengths. The distance of 1 1/16 miles was the longest she had raced in her career, yet it seemed to be well suited for her. The effort was her best to date, and if she can duplicate her Iowa Oaks performance in her second start for Vance, the rest of the seven-horse field will probably be running for second in the Monmouth Oaks.

"I believe she'll run well," Vance said. "She acts like a filly that will move forward."

Vance, who will fly in Friday from his Churchill Downs base, had a little knowledge of Unbridled Elaine before she was sent to him, as she made most of her starts in the Midwest. In the Acorn, a race in which Unbridled Elaine was only beaten 2 1/4 lengths, Vance started Caressing, who finished behind her soon-to-be stablemate in fifth.

Unbridled Elaine sat out the winter with an ankle injury, and has not been through the grueling tests for 3-year-old fillies. Going into the summer, Vance may have one of the fresher horses in the division.

"I'm looking to run her a few more times this year," he said. "We'll pick our spots, and she'll probably still be lightly raced by the end of the year. We want to keep her in training and have a nice 4-year-old next year."

The top two challengers to Unbridled Elaine are Quick Blue and Indy Glory.

Quick Blue, trained by Linda Rice, made her last two starts in Canada, scoring a win in the Bison City at Fort Erie and a third in the Woodbine Oaks.

The John Kimmel-trained Indy Glory finished second in the Black-Eyed Susan two starts back, and was sixth in her last race, the Grade 1 Mother Goose June 30.

The home-track advantage in the Oaks, run at 1 1/8 miles, goes to Astrid. She has won two straight races here, including the Oaks prep and the Serena's Song Stakes July 4.

The starters, from the rail: Astrid, Dale Beckner up; Unrestrained, Roberto Alvarado; Indy Glory, Joe Bravo; Quick Blue, Emile Ramsammy; Kain's Prize, Ramon Dominguez; Unbridled Elaine, Eibar Coa; and Southern Fiction, Jose Velez Jr.

for entries.

Subscribers, to purchase Past Performances.

Non-subscribers, to purchase Past Performances.