10/20/2005 11:00PM

'Belle' back on favorite surface


Swing the Belle will return to her favorite track on Sunday when she heads a field of eight in the Portland Meadows feature, a six-furlong test for fillies and mares eligible to be claimed for $8,000.

Swing the Belle, a 4-year-old daughter of Swing and Miss, was a terror over this track last season. Swing the Belle won 7 of 9 tries at the meet while ascending from the $3,200 level to the invitational handicap class. Trainer Jonathan Nance took Swing the Belle to Emerald, where she was claimed out of her first start for $10,000. She won 2 of her 5 starts at Emerald, and Nance claimed her back out of a win against $3,500 company on July 9 and promptly put her away to wait for this meeting to begin. Swing the Belle, who now races for owner Michael Hogan, will be ridden by Clark Jones at 119 pounds.

Swing the Belle might get her sternest challenge from Ogygian's Rose, who won her only start here last season against allowance rivals in October. Ogygian's Rose, a 4-year-old from the barn of trainer Jim Fergason, went on the shelf after that score, but resurfaced in April at Emerald Downs and raced seven times. Though she did not win at Emerald, she ran third to $32,000 optional claiming company and to $15,000 claimers before tailing off at midsummer. She has been rested since August and has logged a pair of sharp workouts for her return under Jose Zunino at 119 pounds.