11/06/2008 12:00AM

Honey Bee easier spot for Hamsa


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The $60,000 Honey Bee Stakes for 3-year-old fillies Saturday night at the Meadowlands Racetrack attracted several horses looking to regroup following ambitious tries in stakes races.

Hamsa tops the list for trainer Barclay Tagg. She lost to Music Note, a division leader, in two of her last three races, the Mother Goose and the Gazelle - both Grade 1 stakes at Belmont Park. The margins of defeat were similar: 8 and 8 1/2 lengths.

In between, Hamsa suffered a nose loss to So Glitzy in a second-level allowance race at Saratoga.

Jose Lezcano, the meet's leading rider, will be aboard for the first time.

Love for Not also fits the profile, for trainer Kevin Sleeter.

The New Jersey-bred filly had a sensational 2-year-old campaign, winning 3 of 4 starts, including the Maryland Million Lassie and the New Jersey Futurity.

Love for Not is winless in two races this season, most recently running third in the Maryland Million Oaks.

Stewart Elliott, aboard for every one of her six races, has the return call.

And then there's Picker, beaten 12 1/2 lengths last time out in the Grade 2 Fitz Dixon Cotillion Stakes at Philadelphia Park.

She is trained by Hamilton Smith, who has had considerable success bringing fillies and mares up from Maryland for stakes races at the Big M, Humoristic the most prominent among them. She won the Violet on the turf in 2005 and scored a repeat win in that stakes in 2007, her final race before retirement.

Smith returns with a fresh face: Picker, who faces nine rivals in the 1 1/16-mile race.

"She's coming up to the race good," Smith said. "Last time, she was running against horses she didn't need to run against. She didn't have any excuses. There was no trouble. She made a little middle move but then they sprinted away from her."

After that, Smith gave Picker a breather.

"We decided to give her a little more time before the next race," Smith said. "She's been working well."

Prior to the Cotillion, Picker had hit the board in all four of her allowance starts this year, showing a pattern of steady progress that

culminated in a second-level win at Monmouth Park on Sept. 1.

Rosie Napravnik will ride.

Trainer Larry Jones has two fillies in

the Honey Bee, running as separate betting interests.

De Star Xpress has not been out since scoring a second-level allowance win at Delaware Park on Aug. 11 but shows four bullet workouts since then.

My Heavenly Sign, the other Jones filly, was third last time out in Delaware's Go for Wand Stakes in late August.

Terry Thompson rides De Star Xpress; Gabriel Saez has My Heavenly Sign.

o Apprentice jockey Maylan Studart was released from Hackensack University Medical Center after being treated for minor injuries in a spill Wednesday afternoon at the Meadowlands. Studart was dumped when River of Dreams fell on the final turn in the second race. The 19-year-old Brazilian rider complained of hip and thigh pain.