12/12/2002 1:00AM

Bailey factor big consideration


Jerry Bailey doesn't ride in Maryland very often. Bailey hasn't accepted a mount at Laurel Park in more than a year.

Bailey last appeared in Maryland during Preakness week, when he rode Chamrousse to victory in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. His last ride at Laurel produced a win for Delaware Township in the 2001 De Francis Memorial Dash.

So that Bailey is coming to Laurel for Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Anne Arundel Stakes is a pretty good endorsement for the 3-year-old filly he will ride, To the Queen.

It took To the Queen five tries to win her maiden for trainer Bill Mott. Since mid-September, she has reeled off four consecutive victories, all in New York. Most recently, To the Queen won a three-other-than allowance at the Anne Arundel distance of 1 1/8 miles. The Beyer Speed Figure of 86 that To the Queen earned, however, is slightly below par for that class, which may make her a vulnerable favorite in her stakes debut.

Handicappers looking for value might consider graded-stakes-placed Pupil, Maryland Million Oaks winner Undercover, the ultra-consistent Amazing Lady, and three-time stakes winner Pass the Virtue.

Pupil, second in the Grade 2 Cotillion at Philadelphia Park, has been idle since romping in a first-level allowance at Delaware Park in late October. She worked a bullet five furlongs last Sunday.

Undercover must be considered dangerous simply because of her connections. Trainer Anthony Dutrow has won with 15 of his first 35 starters at the Laurel meet. One of the few times Dutrow has disappointed fans came when Undercover returned from a two-month layoff to finish fourth as the 3-5 favorite in a restricted stakes three weeks ago. Jockey Mario Pino had to check Undercover in that race, however, and she's eligible to improve with that nine-furlong race under her belt.

Amazing Lady hasn't been worse than third in four lifetime starts around two turns. She has three consecutive Beyers between 87 and 90 against high-priced optional claimers.

Pass the Virtue finished behind Pupil in both the Pennsylvania Oaks and the Cotillion, but she rebounded to romp by 5 1/4 lengths in a nine-furlong stakes at Laurel over a sloppy surface. During the summer, she also won stakes at Delaware Park and Charles Town. Her record of 3 wins in 7 starts at Laurel indicates Pass the Virtue is a horse for the course.

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