11/21/2005 12:00AM

Winner could be 'Meant to B'


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - At first glance, If It's Meant to B appears overmatched in the $49,000 optional-claiming feature for fillies and mares Wednesday at Aqueduct.

A 3-year-old New York-bred, faces five hard-knocking rivals in the 6 1/2-furlong race.

Upon further review, however, If It's Meant to B should be a factor in this spot. A chestnut trained by Heriberto Cedano, she returns following a pair of discouraging turf stakes efforts at Saratoga.

"She wasn't very happy there," Cedano said. "She ran all winter into this year, so I gave her some time off. She went to a farm for six weeks, and since she came back, she's trained dynamite."

Two of her last three drills produced bullet works at Belmont Park.

While fatigue might have been a factor at Saratoga, If It's Meant to B was also sending a message that she wasn't comfortable on grass. Two of her last five starts came in off-the-turf races, and both produced wins, including the Six Perfections overnight stakes at Belmont Park.

The return to Aqueduct won't hurt. If It's Meant to B raced well over the Big A's inner track last winter, winning her maiden at six furlongs in March.

She will be reunited with apprentice jockey Channing Hill, who was aboard for the off-turf allowance win at Belmont on May 26.

Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. runs Twist and Pop and her entrymate Slew Motion.

was claimed in March 2004 at Aqueduct and went on to a very successful season, with four wins - including three straight at Monmouth Park. The 6-year-old hasn't gotten untracked this season, though. This will be only her third start of the year and first since early August, when she ran in the Lady's Secret Stakes on Monmouth's Haskell Day undercard.

, like If It's Meant to B, is a New York-bred 3-year-old. She was an easy winner of her two prior 6 1/2-furlong races.

Last time out, Slew Motion set the pace in the Iroquois Handicap for statebreds in the slop at Belmont before tiring to seventh.

Wild Storm has the rail for trainer Bobby Frankel. A Chilean mare who is still looking for her first North American victory, Wild Storm was a game second earlier this month at Aqueduct. Wild Storm has hit the board in 4 of her last 5 starts.

Game Card and Really Royal complete the field.

* The card features a pick six carryover of $40,564.