Trainer Shug McGaughey spent Thanksgiving afternoon at Laurel yesterday but left with just a piece of the pie after Queena finished a half-length short of Iceycindy in the $100,000 Straight Deal Handicap.

Queena drew adamant support off her strong New York form, which included a five-for-five record on fast tracks, and brought all the necessary ingredients except one: speed. Iceycindy easily outran her to the lead and defied the 9-10 favorite through the stretch for the richest victory of her 14-race career. She paid $30 to win.

Iceycindy made her mark in Maryland as a sprinter last spring, and after two long races on turf she rediscovered the dirt sprint. Trainer Vinnie Blengs gave her a sequence of short workouts in an effort to sharpen her speed, and she and Mario Pino did the rest.

"I had ridden her twice; both times she left {the gate} there like a rocket," said Pino, and an eighth-mile into the seven-furlong Straight Deal he was looking back as Iceycindy burst to a two-length lead on the rail. Queena broke a bit lazily but recovered nicely, advancing from mid-pack to take second through the backstretch.

Mike Smith, Aqueduct's third-leading rider, had Queena in striking position as Iceycindy held a 1 1/2-length lead along the far turn. McKilts moved into third but wasn't gaining on the first two, while Thirty Eight Go Go began her ascent from last.

At the top of the stretch, Smith made his move. He whacked Queena with a right hand and then a quick left, but that provided little thrust. Iceycindy's lead held as the two pulled away from eight others, and only in the final yards did Queena get closer.

"It was her first time really shipping anywhere; that might have had an effect on her," Smith said of Queena, a Mr. Prospector filly who began racing this year at age 4. "She ran a good race. I thought I was close enough to {Iceycindy} that I could win it. But when we got the eighth {-mile} pole, I knew I was in trouble because that other mare had been going long."

Iceycindy finished in 1:23 1/5, her seventh victory in 14 tries for Francis Martin of Boston. Her $60,000 purse was $40,000 more than that earned by Queena, who had 3 1/2 lengths on third-place Thirty Eight Go Go.

The winning time was nearly two seconds off the Laurel record on a day when the track produced fast times. Three races earlier, Spanish Dior missed a 1 1/8-mile mark by two-fifths of a second in a 14-length allowance victory.

The grayish 3-year-old filly hit fractions of :23 1/5, :46 1/5 and 1:10 2/5 and still had plenty in reserve.