02/18/2010 12:00AM

Honey Fox looks like anyone's race


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Only two lengths separated the first eight finishers in last month's Marshua's River at Gulfstream, so with five of those runners returning Saturday for the Grade 3, $100,000 Honey Fox Stakes for female turf runners another cavalry charge seems certain. After 10 previous races on Saturday's card, the Gulfstream finale is one of the most challenging of the day.

Bluegrass Princess finished fifth in the 1 1/16-mile Marshua's River, but only missed by a half-length with a powerful late charge. Her trainer, Chad Brown, hopes she can improve off that effort and score a mild upset going a mile Saturday.

"She was a little farther back earlier than we expected," Brown said Thursday morning at the Palm Meadows training center. "She just wasn't interested. This race looks similar to her last race. A half-dozen of them could be right there."

Quiet Harbor won the Marshua's River, which marked her fifth straight victory. Despite that win streak, she is often overlooked; she has been favored just once in those five races. Quiet Harbor drew poorly, landing post 13, but she overcame post 11 last time. She has won 6 of 7 on turf and is 2 for 2 at Gulfstream.

Backseat Rhythm drew far better this time. After finishing seventh in the Marshua's River when starting from post 13, she landed post 2 this time and gets jockey Garrett Gomez, who is in town for the day.

Romacaca led until the final strides of the Marshua's River, finishing in a dead heat for second while beaen a head by Quiet Harbor. She again should be on the lead, but should get pace pressure from Wasted Tears - who figures to be sent from her outside stall in search of her fourth straight victory - and Meadow Saffron. Romacaca has never finished worse than second in three starts on this course.

Akilina has won three of her last four starts and comes into the race off a freshening following a stakes victory at Fair Grounds in December.

Cherokee Queen comes off a victory over this course in a third-level allowance. She has not finished worse than second in four tries here.

Belmont Cat is shipping in from California, where she won twice in four starts after arriving from New Zealand. This is her first start in nine months.