03/10/2006 12:00AM

Bully Bones a deserving highweight

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Benoit & Associates
Winner of the Grade 3 Sorrento (above), Bully Bones concedes from nine to 16 pounds in the Cactus Cup.

Bully Bones didn't exactly scare them away in Turf Paradise's $50,000 Cactus Cup Handicap on Sunday. Ten other 3-year-old fillies have decided to take a swing at her, possibly because she is giving major weight to the opposition. Bully Bones, the 126-pound highweight, will be conceding from nine to 16 pounds to her opponents in the 6 1/2-furlong event.

It's easy to see why such an impost was assigned, and why Bully Bones looms the heavy favorite in spite of it. A daughter of Hesabull, owned and trained by David La Croix, Bully Bones won her maiden at first asking at Hollywood Park last April, then came back to easily win the Grade 3 Sorrento at Del Mar. She was out of her element in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante, and La Croix gave her plenty of time to regroup. Bully Bones returned in the Arizona Juvenile Filly Stakes here Dec. 31 and romped by more than 10 lengths, despite blowing the start. Her 97 Beyer that day towers over these.

was last seen in the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Oaks at Gulfstream on Jan. 28. She again blew the start. Still, her speed carried her right up into a pace struggle, but after carving hot splits she faltered in the lane to finish fifth as the 5-2 favorite. Bully Bones doesn't face that kind of opposition here, and she's already proven to love this track. Bully Bones adds blinkers for this race. Glenn Corbett has the call on Bully Bones.

was tabbed the second highweight, and should something happen to Bully Bones - such as her getting lost on the way to the paddock - this is the filly who might take advantage. She was no match for Bully Bones in the Arizona Juvenile Filly and ended up fourth, beaten 16 lengths. She came back to be third in the Jan. 21 Sun Devil here at a mile. Trainer Bart Hone has freshened up Holy Fashion and moves her back to a sprint with some strong works in tow. She carries 117 pounds, including rider Michael Iammarino.

Another potential spoiler is , like the favorite a Southern California invader. Trained by Vladimir Cerin, she stalked the pace and finished gamely to beat maidens at Santa Anita on Feb. 17. She must ship for the first time and take on winners, but certainly appears to be on the upswing. Lotsa Lemons, 116, will carry Scott Stevens, who rode Holy Fashion in all four of her previous starts.

Sunland: 'Dee Dee' needs her best

A resurgent Dee Dee's Diner and classy comebacker Blue Song square off in Sunland's $50,000 Santa Teresa Handicap. The 6 1/2-furlong event for fillies and mares lured a field of seven.

On paper, Dee Dee's Diner and Blue Song hold the aces. Dee Dee's Diner, owned by Chris Coleman and trained by Henry Dominguez, shipped to New Mexico with a strong Southern California resume. She was second in the Zia Distaff at Zia Park on Oct. 8 and romped in the Lady's Secret there on Nov. 14. But then she ran eighth of nine in the Bold Ego here Dec. 22 as the 4-5 favorite. Dee Dee's Diner has since bounced back with victories in an allowance race here Jan. 10 and in the Czaria here Feb. 19. Ken Tohill rides Dee Dee's Diner, the likely favorite.

Dee Dee's Diner had better be back on her game if she is to handle Blue Song. Owned by Armando Jurado and trained by Jose Gonzalez, Blue Song has been a stalwart in the Southwest, winning 12 of 27, including multiple stakes here. She's 4 for 8 over this track, so she obviously likes it here.

Blue Song comes into this after being gone nearly two months, as she was last seen finishing third as the 4-5 favorite in a mile allowance race here Jan. 24. However, she has won two of the last three times she came off a layoff. Miguel Perez rides.

Genuine True invades from back East for trainer Steve Asmussen. A daughter of Yes It's True, Genuine True has won at Churchill, Monmouth, and the Aqueduct inner track. She was last seen finishing fifth in the Dixie Flag at Aqueduct in mid-January. She worked well over this track last Tuesday (four furlongs in 48.40 seconds) and certainly merits respect. Casey Lambert rides.

Red Lifesaver, most recently third behind Dee Dee's Diner as the 7-5 favorite in the Czaria, and Water Park, winner of an allowance race here Jan. 29 before finishing second in the Czaria, can certainly threaten on their best days.