River Belle ended 2004 on a high note by winning the hard fought Ms. Revere Stakes (gr. IIT). Now the 4-year-old filly is looking to start her 2005 campaign with the same winning magic in Sunday's $100,000 Honey Fox Handicap (gr. IIIT), going 1 1/16 miles over the turf course at Gulfstream Park.
Campaigned in partnership by Team Valor, Heiligbrodt Racing Stables, and Green Lantern Stables, River Belle was imported to the United States from England in 2004 and promptly won an allowance race at Saratoga.
In addition to scoring in the Ms. Revere, River Belle finished third in both the Boiling Springs Stakes (gr. IIIT) and the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. IIIT).
Jockey John Velazquez has the mount aboard the Todd Pletcher-trained River Belle, who will break from the inside carrying 116 pounds.
Another dangerous mare to watch is the Bobby Frankel-trained Potra Fabulous, who will break from post two under jockey Javier Castellano. Argentine-bred Potra Fabulous will also carry 116 pounds.
Owned by Gary Tanaka, who is known for privately purchasing and importing high-class older mares, Potra Fabulous enters the Honey Fox off a mile allowance score Feb. 11 at Gulfstream.
The Bill Mott-trained Fast Cookie could be another likely option in the over-subscribed field of fillies and mares. She most recently finished second in the Feb. 26 Endeavour Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.
Fast Cookie, ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, also gets 116 pounds and will break from post five.
The field for Sunday's $100,000 Honey Fox Handicap (gr. IIIT) includes:
1-- River Belle (John Velazquez, 116)
2-- Potra Fabulous (Javier Castellano, 116)
3-- Mymich (Robert Landry, 115)
4-- Shaconage (Manoel Cruz, 115)
5-- Fast Cookie (Cornelio Velasquez, 116)
6-- Sand Springs (Jerry Bailey, 115)
7-- Marwood (Christopher DeCarlo, 115)
8-- Cloakof Vagueness (Eibar Coa, 113)
9-- Silver Lace (Jorge Chavez, 114)
10-- Changing World (Edgar Prado, 115)
11-- Where We Left Off (Joe Bravo, 116)
12-- Pretty Jane (Brice Blanc, 113)
AE-- Givememore (Jose Santos, 113)