03/14/2009 12:00AM

Bon Jovi Girl moves back to two turns


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - The fact that Rachel Alexandra left town earlier this week for a start - and a win - in the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks was sweet news to trainers with 3-year-old fillies in the Grade 3, $100,000 Honeybee at Oaklawn Park on Sunday.

D. Wayne Lukas, who will start Be Fair in the 1 1/16-mile race, went so far as to offer to help Hal Wiggins, who trains Rachel Alexandra, load his star on the van to New Orleans.

"I told him I would make sure that she's comfortable, and if he needed an attendant that I would send one along with her down there to make sure that she got there safely," he quipped.

Just Jenda, winner of the $75,000 Tiffany Lass at Fair Grounds in January for trainer Larry Jones and his wife, Cindy, high-tailed it to Hot Springs as soon as her connections heard Rachel Alexandra was coming to New Orleans.

"I told Cindy, 'Get your filly ready to load. We're coming to Oaklawn,' " Jones said. "I'm not going to run against her . . . not yet."

Rachel Alexanda is a top contender for the Kentucky Oaks, and the Honeybee, with its roster of promising fillies, figures to produce starters for that race, too. Among the prospects is Bon Jovi Girl, a two-time route stakes winner last year who was sharp enough to win a six-furlong allowance over older rivals in her first start of the year on Feb. 26. The move back to two turns will serve her well Sunday.

"That's what she likes to do," said Tim Ritchey, who trains Bon Jovi Girl. "I think she'll run as far as they write races."

Just Jenda was third as the favorite in the Grade 3 Silverbulletday at Fair Grounds in her last start Feb. 7. She has since been freshened and indicated her readiness to return to action by drilling five furlongs in 59.20 seconds here Tuesday.

"She had come out of the last race really tired, so we just really backed off on her a lot from the Silverbulletday to now," Jones said.

"The good old Arkansas fresh air has seemed to revive her."

Be Fair makes her stakes debut off impressive back-to-back wins.

"We've already tested the waters by taking her a mile, so now it's just a matter of her putting it all together against good competition," Lukas said.

Hightap has won consecutive route races and makes her stakes debut Sunday.

"We're hoping that she's up to that level of competition," trainer Steve Asmussen said.