05/17/2007 11:00PM

Hard to find Miss Right in this field


Just glancing at the short comment line for La Raine of Terror's most recent race - "checked sharply early," according to the Equibase chart-caller - a handicapper might automatically give La Raine of Terror an excuse when she runs back in the featured eighth race Sunday at Lone Star Park.

A 4-year-old filly based at Louisiana Downs with trainer George Northrop, La Raine of Terror finished a fast-closing second in the April 7 Jersey Lily Stakes at Sam Houston, and thus was the 9-5 favorite in that recent Lone Star turf outing, an entry-level allowance. But a look at the tape suggests that La Raine of Terror's 0-for-4 turf record, and her career mark of 2 for 14, might be worth weighting as heavily as her trouble line.

Yes, La Raine of Terror did check sharply less than 100 yards into her race on the evening of April 27, but her failure to put herself back in the race, and the fact she offered only a mild late close, may make it worth standing against La Raine of Terror in Sunday's eighth, a first-level allowance.

In fact, taking stands against the nine horses in the Sunday feature, which is carded for one mile on grass, is much easier than taking a stand with one of them.

The most prolific winner in the race, with six career wins, is Bankrupe, but she looks much too cheap to be considered a player here. Eddies Girl is a model of consistency, and has been first or

second in 8 of 15 grass races, but there is a reason that after 30 career starts she still has her first allowance condition intact. You Too has finished third or better in her last four races, but her experience on grass is nil. Holy Sunset finished fourth at the class level after breaking from a tough wide draw last time, but her career record stands at 1 for 17. Dearly Three looks like a candidate to improve in her second race of 2007, but her last win came over five 3-year-old $30,000 claimers last fall at Remington Park.

And gradually, that "checked sharply early" begins to look like more and more of a factor. Maybe it is La Raine of Terror's day after all.