Updated on 09/16/2011 7:46AM

Herecomesthebride a pick 'em race


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Picking the winner of the Herecomesthebride Stakes used to be as easy as thumbing down the program until you found the horse Jerry Bailey was riding. Bailey has won this race five of the last six years.

But Bailey will be in California on Sunday to ride Lido Palace in the San Antonio Handicap. That makes for a difficult edition of the $100,000 Herecomesthebride even tougher to handicap.

An evenly matched field of 11 3-year-old fillies was entered for the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride, run at 1 1/16 miles over Gulfstream Park's turf course. The Herecomesthebride highlights a 10-race Super Bowl Sunday program that begins at noon. Last post is 4:09 p.m., two hours before kickoff of the Rams-Patriots tilt.

Had Bailey not been in California, he would have ridden either August Storm or Dame Sylvieguilhem, the probable top two choices in the Herecomesthebride.

August Storm had too much to overcome when she finished fifth in the Dave Feldman Stakes on Jan. 14. Not only was she facing colts, she also broke from the outside post while running on a course that was not favoring her front-running style. Saturday, she breaks from post 8 and is reunited with Jose Ferrer, aboard for two of August Storm's three stakes wins.

While the turf course is kinder to speed, August Storm - the co-highweight at 121 pounds - will likely have to deal with pace pressure from Cellars Shiraz and Lush Soldier.

An honest pace would help closers such as Dame Sylvieguilhem, Kathy K D, and Ashley's Royal. Dame Sylvieguilhem closed strongly to win a preliminary allowance race at a mile here on Jan. 16 and should appreciate the added distance.

"I thought she showed quite a bit of acceleration when she got to [midstretch]," said Dame Sylvieguilhem's trainer, Bill Mott, who named John Velazquez to ride. "She closed fairly well off a slow pace."

Ashley's Royal finished only three-quarters of a length behind Dame Sylvieguilhem that day and had the wider trip. She would benefit from a strong pace and figures to be the value of the race under Rene Douglas.

After finishing second to August Storm in the Hollywood Wildcat Stakes at Calder on Dec. 1, Kathy K D came back to win a second-level allowance race at Gulfstream on

Jan. 13. Jack Bohannan, assistant to trainer Rusty Arnold, said he would like to see a hot pace on Sunday.

"Everything's got to go her way to get up going a mile and a sixteenth," Bohannan said. "We're optimistic, we're excited about running her and she should run well."

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