Gazelle Handicap (gr. I) winner Critical Eye returns to the races as the 121-pound highweight in the $200,000 Honey Bee Stakes (gr. III) Friday night at the Meadowlands. The Scott Schwartz trainee faces eight 3-year-old fillies in the 1 1/16-mile main track feature, including North Lake Jane and A. O. L. Hayes, the fifth- and seventh-place finishers, respectively, in the Gazelle.
Prior to the Gazelle, North Lake Jane finished second in both the Monmouth Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. II) and the Selene Stakes (Can-I). As a juvenile, the Linda Rice trainee won each of her two races at the Meadowlands, including the $45,000 Salem County Stakes.
"She raced well over the Meadowlands course last year, and I'm comfortable with how she'll race this week," said Rice. "The Gazelle was her only start on one turn this year, and I think she's better on two turns than one."
Rice also said that Talk's Cheap, nominated to both the Meadowlands Cup (gr. II) and Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. III), is being pointed to the Meadowlands race.
"His first start at Delaware was a dynamite performance," the conditioner said. "He was third in the Iselin, even though he had a poor trip. He's typically a stalker. He was shuffled back at the break and was last. He was in a bad spot the whole race and got up for third. It was a decent effort on his part and I'm looking forward to racing him in the Cup."
The field for the Honey Bee, with jockeys and weights, will consist of:
1--Rochelle's Terms, Robbie Davis, 112
2--Rosie Dooley, Jean-Luc Samyn, 113
3--North Lake Jane, Mike Luzzi, 115
4--Tugger, Jerry Bailey, 113
5--Critical Eye, Mike Smith, 121
6--Prized Stamp, Travis Dunkelberger, 115
7--Dawn Princess, Ramon Dominguez, 116
8--A. O. L. Hayes, Richard Migliore, 114
9--Eventail, Edgar Prado, 114