08/03/2005 12:00AM

Bank Audit speedy but versatile

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Bank Audit noses out Sensibly Chic in the Grade 2 Genuine Risk at Belmont on May 14. Forest Music, third in that race, will face Bank Audit again in Friday's Grade 2 Honorable Miss.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - After five years as a trainer, Frank LaBoccetta Jr. will saddle his first starter in a Saratoga stakes-Bank Audit, who is the horse to beat in Friday's $150,000 Honorable Miss Handicap.

is the likely favorite among eight fillies and mares in the six-furlong Honorable Miss.

A winner of three stakes in New York in 2005, Bank Audit packs 120 pounds as the highweight in the Grade 2 Honorable Miss.

In her last start, Bank Audit finished second in the Grade 2 Vagrancy at Belmont on June 12. For much of the 6 1/2-furlong race, Bank Audit was buried on the rail. Once free, with a furlong remaining, Bank Audit had too much to do to catch Sensibly Chic, the 3 3/4-length winner.

LaBoccetta has made a jockey change from Norberto Arroyo Jr. to Ramon Dominguez, who will ride Bank Audit from post 2.

"We freshened her up after the last race and she's doing excellent," LaBoccetta said. "She has a lot of speed and you can use it, but her best races are when she settles and picks it up at the half-mile [pole]."

With the presence of speedsters Forest Music, Fortress Hill, High Peaks, and Molto Vita, Bank Audit may get the trip that LaBoccetta would prefer.

Another horse who would benefit from a speed duel is , the runner-up in last year's Honorable Miss. Trained by Bill Mott, Ebony Breeze is a six-furlong specialist, and has the highest earnings in the field with $784,067.

Jerry Bailey rides Ebony Breeze from post 4.

Fortress Hill makes her graded stakes debut. In her last two starts, Fortress Hill finished second by a nose in stakes at Monmouth and Delaware.

"It was a tough, tough beat - she was caught the very last stride," trainer Todd Pletcher said of the filly's effort in the West Long Branch on June 25 at Monmouth.

, who holds the highest Beyer Speed Figure in the field with a 106, has changed trainers since her last race, from Mark Shuman to Steve Asmussen. Jess Jackson bought Forest Music after she finished third in the Grade 2 Genuine Risk, which was won by Bank Audit, in May.

"She's handled her training very well since coming to us," said Scott Blasi, Asmussen's assistant trainer.

Storm Minstrel, the runner-up 10 times in 21 career starts, was second to Umpateedle and then Ebony Breeze in minor stakes this summer.