07/18/2002 11:00PM

Bailey keen on 'Miesque' in Kent


STANTON, Del. - Horseplayers may not want to read too much into Jerry Bailey coming to Delaware to ride Two Item Limit in the Delaware Handicap.

No, the main reason that Bailey will make a rare appearance at Delaware is Miesque's Approval, who figures as a heavy favorite in the main supporting feature here Sunday, the $250,000 Kent Breeders' Cup Stakes.

Agent Ron Anderson confirmed Friday that Miesque's Approval, trained by Bill Mott, was the impetus for Bailey leaving New York for the day. "Not that Two Item Limit can't win, because she can," said Anderson. "But Billy's horse is why we're there in the first place."

Miesque's Approval is one of eight 3-year-olds entered in the Kent BC, a 1 1/8-mile turf race. In seven lifetime starts, all on grass, the Florida-bred colt has three wins and three seconds, a consistent record that is made more impressive by a victory in the Pilgrim Stakes and runner-up finishes in the Summer, Generous, and Hill Prince Stakes.

Quest Star, trained by Elliott Walden and to be ridden by Pat Day, figures to be a clear-cut second choice behind Miesque's Approval. Walden has won two of the last five runnings of the Kent BC with Royal Strand (1997) and Three Wonders (2000).

The rest of the field for the Kent BC, which includes $100,000 in Breeders' Cup bonuses and is carded as the seventh race, is Regal Sanction, Erv's Creek, Coco's Madness, Seeking Greatness, Coahoma, and Star Captain.

Light Hearted, plus

Three other stakes also are carded Sunday: the $75,000 Light Hearted (race seven), for fillies and mares at six furlongs, and two divisions of the Cape Henlopen (races four and eight).

The Light Hearted drew an inordinate amount of speed. Absolute Jewel and Madame Roar are habitual front-runners who should set a torrid pace, while Bruanna, Urban Dancer, and Haunted Lass have enough zip to be right behind them. The race could boil down to who can best capitalize on what figures to be a ruinous tempo.

The first division of the Cape Henlopen may be the tougher half, with accomplished stakes horses such as Monkey Puzzle, Rochester, Dawn of the Condor, and Barnabus in the field of 10. The second division has 11 horses, with Dr. Brendler and Craigsteel likely to draw the most play.

Both divisions of the Cape Henlopen are worth $55,000 and will be run at 1 1/2 miles on grass.