03/21/2007 11:00PM

Four back from recent past meeting


CHICAGO - Anyone who truly enjoyed the fifth race on March 15 at Hawthorne will certainly watch the Honey Mark Stakes on Saturday with keen interest, since the Honey Mark is a virtual replay of that recent allowance race.

Le Jester, who won the March 15 race, was not entered in the Honey Mark, a $45,000 overnight stakes carded for 1 1/16 miles, but the other four exiting the race were. The list includes second-place Holy City, third-place Come on Chas, fourth-place Air Academy, and the distant trailer Count on My Word. They will be joined in the Saturday feature by Big Fred, a longshot with recent Fair Grounds turf-sprint form, and Awesomewithbroads, who also lost to Le Jester back on March 3.

A victory by Big Fred or Count on My Word would qualify as highly surprising, but any of the others appear capable.

Air Academy looked like a horse who was a race away from his best when beaten more than 11 lengths last out. He is a four-time Hawthorne winner who could improve in his second start of the season.

Awesomewithbroads was no match for Le Jester while well clear of the show horse last out in his first start of the year, and could tussle on the lead Saturday with Holy City, who could wind up as the favorite.

Holy City gave way late to Le Jester last time out, but has carried his speed to two-turn wins at Hawthorne in the past. Come on Chas tracked Le Jester and Holy City while losing ground late to both of them in the March 15 race, and has won only 1 of 9 starts on the Hawthorne main track.

Sweetnorthernsaint coming back

Sweetnorthernsaint, whose blowout win in the 2006 Illinois Derby made him the favorite in the Kentucky Derby, is scheduled to return to Hawthorne for the $250,000 National Jockey Club Handicap on April 21, trainer Michael Trombetta said Thursday.

Sweetnorthernsaint finished seventh in the Derby and began his 4-year-old campaign at Gulfstream with a third in the Hal's Hope and a fifth in the Sunshine Millions Classic, but scored a four-length victory in the Harrison Johnson Memorial Handicap over a sealed muddy track at Laurel Park last Saturday.

Sweetnorthernsaint won the Illinois Derby by more than nine lengths, clearly handling a track surface that some horses dislike.

"He handled it real well out there," said Trombetta, who chose the Jockey Club over the Excelsior Breeders' Cup at Aqueduct on April 7.

- additional reporting by David Grening