11/16/2006 12:00AM

Brownie Points faces sharp cast in Mrs. Revere


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - For a few years in the 1990's, Donnie K. Von Hemel won his share of races in Kentucky, bringing his best horses here every spring and fall. But he has made infrequent returns in recent years, preferring to stay close to his home base and following a circuit of Oaklawn Park, Lone Star Park, and Remington Park.

This week, however, Von Hemel was back at Churchill Downs, and this time with just one horse: Brownie Points, who will try to further entrench herself as one of the top 3-year-old turf fillies in North America this year. If she can emerge victorious Saturday in the Grade 2, $150,000 Mrs. Revere Stakes, she would punctuate an outstanding year in which she already has won four stakes, including her last two races, both on grass.

"She can sure enough run," said Von Hemel. "Now we've got to try and see if she can beat these nice fillies she's up against Saturday. I've taken a look at the race, and being as objective as a trainer can be, I think we've got a big chance to do some good in there."

The Mrs. Revere shapes up as a legitimate test for Brownie Points. More than half of the 11-horse field are stakes winners, including Meribel, winner of the Grade 3 Valley View last month at Keeneland; Precious Kitten, winner of the Martha Washington at Laurel Park; Gasia, winner of the Susan's Girl at Delaware Park; J'ray, winner of the Tropical Park Oaks at Calder; and Quite a Bride, winner of the Boiling Springs at the Meadowlands.

Quite a Bride, with Cornelio Velasquez in from New York to ride, figures as one of the wagering favorites, if only because she appears to be the dominant speed in the 1 1/16-mile race. Since trainer Bill Mott moved her to the grass, the Florida-bred filly has won 5 of 7 starts, all in front-running fashion.

But if Quite a Bride can't maintain her expected advantage, then a veritable cavalry charge could develop, with Brownie Points figuring to be among the first to pounce, and Meribel and Precious Kitten the most logical candidates to come rolling from the back.

With no stakes race Sunday, the Mrs. Revere is the major highlight here this weekend. Churchill will go dark Monday and Tuesday before the best races of the post-Breeders' Cup segment of the fall meet follow, led by the Grade 1 Clark Handicap on Nov. 24.