08/04/2005 11:00PM

Excusabull simply looks too strong


She's stuck on the far outside and makes her first start in more than two months, but those hurdles and six other 3-year-old fillies may not be enough to stop Excusabull as she heads the $15,000 Helen Anthony Memorial Stakes at Yavapai Downs Sunday. The six-furlong event for 3-year-old fillies goes as the seventh race on a nine-race card.

Excusabull, owned by Hal Earnhardt 3rd and trained by Dan McFarlane, won her maiden in Southern California in June 2004 for Bob Baffert. She ran in stakes there without success, and then started moving down the class ladder.

In the spring she was moved to Turf Paradise and to McFarlane. Excusabull promptly romped in an allowance race, then failed to threaten in a pair of stakes as the Turf Paradise meet came to a close. She resurfaced in the Silk Stocking here June 5. She was a bit reluctant to load, but pressed the pace and won as the 8-5 favorite. Excusabull looms the horse to beat here if able to come anywhere close to that kind of performance level. Daniel Vergara has the return call at 122 pounds.

Her main opposition may come from Reds Fling, who ran wide and closed to be third behind Excusabull in the Silk Stocking. She came back here June 25, in a mile allowance race, and couldn't fend off the strong rally of Hillsdale. Reds Fling returns to a sprint here and has posted two bullet works since her last start. Carl Williams rides Reds Fling at 117 pounds for trainer C.F. Frazier.

The most interesting entrant may be Cool Autumn. A daughter of Clever Trick, Cool Autumn looked super blasting restricted claimers here June 20. Trainer Justin Evans claimed her that day for $5,500 for owner Jan Charles Gray. She hasn't raced since, and she resurfaces well up in class in a spot where she can't be claimed away for a trainer who has saddled 26 percent winners this meet.