11/18/2005 1:00AM

Valley Stream: India begins her comeback


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - In a mishap before the Grade 1 Matron Stakes on Sept. 17, India smashed her head into the doors of the starting gate.

On Sunday, India hits the comeback trail at Aqueduct in the Grade 3, $100,000 Valley Stream Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at six furlongs. India will be making her fourth start and the first since the Matron.

India was the even-money favorite in the Matron, off a terrific maiden victory at Saratoga when she romped by 12 lengths and earned a 95 Beyer Speed Figure.

Her first graded-stakes opportunity, the Matron, was squandered before it started.

"A horse next to her reacted and hit the door," said jockey John Velazquez. "She got scared and slammed head-on into the doors."

The force sprung the stall doors open but was too woozy to run off.

"She was a little bit nervous before the start, and after waiting so long, when she hit the doors she was kind of knocked out," Velazquez said.

At the break, India shot right to the front and held a narrow lead for a quarter of a mile before stopping badly in a 47 1/2-length defeat.

"She was done," Velazquez said. "She must have flipped her palate because she was not breathing normally. It was just one of those things that happens."

Velazquez has the return call and said he hopes India returns to her Saratoga form.

"She was awesome that day," Velazquez said. "She broke good, behaved well, and it was no contest."

The unbeaten figures to be one of the leading challengers.

Trainer and co-owner Steve Klesaris was immediately attracted to Miraculous Miss at a sale of 2-year-olds in training in May.

"We liked her a lot, and we were able to get her," Klesaris said. "She's done everything we've asked of her."

A $350,000 purchase, Miraculous Miss will stretch out to six furlongs for the first time after wins at 4 1/2 and 5 1/2 furlongs at Delaware Park.

Miraculous Miss rallied strongly in both races, so the added distance should not be a handicap.

and Princess Sweet both also carry unbeaten streaks into the Valley Stream.

Celestial Legend has won three starts, including the Holly Stakes at The Meadowlands Racetrack last time out.

Princess Sweet crushed New York-breds in her two outings, including a 4 3/4-length victory in a New York Stallion Stakes most recently at Belmont.