01/01/2011 2:55PM

Harissa tries to fire fresh in Sleigh Ride


Harissa, who was good enough to capture a $200,000 stakes and post top-three finishes in two graded stakes during 2010, is among four stakes winners from last season in Tuesday’s $75,000 Sleigh Ride Stakes at Parx Racing.

The Sleigh Ride, which will be contested at a mile and 70 yards, drew a field of eight older fillies and mares.

In addition to the 4-yaer-old Harissa, the lineup includes Jemilyn, a two-time stakes winner against Pennsylvania-breds; Check Point, who took the Honey Bee two starts ago at Monmouth Park, and Vindy City, winner of the six-furlong Miss Preakness last May.

Based at Belmont Park with trainer Mike Hushion, Harissa has been given three months off since finishing a distant third as the 8-5 favorite in the Grade 2 Indiana Oaks. During her eight-race campaign last season, Harrissa won the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks in March and was second, beaten a half-length, in the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks.

Hushion shows a 3-for-12 record with horses returning from a break of 61 to 180 days in routes.

The 6-year-old Jemilyn has been first or second in 10 of 13 starts at Parx, including wins in the $150,000 PHBA Distaff and the Foxy J.G., both restricted to statebreds. Primarily a sprinter, Jemilyn is 1 for 2 in races at a mile or longer.

The 5-year-old Check Point, based in New Jersey with trainer Alan Goldberg, has done well shipping to Parx in the past, with 3 wins and 4 seconds in 11 starts. She prefers to come from off the pace, as she did when she rallied from eighth to take the one-mile Honeybee in November and again came from eighth to get up by a neck in a one-mile, second-level allowance in her last visit to Parx in September.

Vindy City, locally based with trainer John Servis, is 4 for 9 lifetime, but most of her success has come in sprints. In her last two starts, both at a mile or longer, she has not finished better than fourth.

Maryland shipper Kit Kats Luck is a sharp horse stepping up to stakes company for the first time after winning four in a row – two on turf and two on dirt – a Laurel Park. She is 2 for 2 on the main track racing around two turns.