10/06/2006 11:00PM

Honey Ryder noses out Film Maker


ELMONT, N.Y. - Honey Ryder outgamed Film Maker by a nose in the thrilling finish to win the Grade 1, $600,000 on Saturday at Belmont Park.

Both mares will likely meet again in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

They squared off last time out in the Beverly D., where Film Maker was a rallying second while Honey Ryder finished fourth under John Velazquez, a defeat trainer Todd Pletcher placed squarely on his own shoulders.

"That's my fault she didn't run better in the last race," Pletcher said. "I told Johnny to not get too far out of it. He was where I told him to be, and that diminished her kick a little bit."

In the Flower Bowl, Velazquez let stablemate Jade Queen, the longest shot in the five-horse field at 17-1, set the pace.

"We were focused on getting her covered up today, regardless of what the pace was," Pletcher said.

The pace was moderate as Jade Queen dictated unpressured fractions. Turning for home, Jade Queen looked like a legitimate upset candidate as she was still running strongly with Mike Luzzi aboard.

In the stretch, Honey Ryder angled off the rail while Film Maker uncorked a strong run down the center of the course. Those two relentlessly bore down on Jade Queen.

The gray Honey Ryder ($6.70), the middle horse in the three-way battle, dug in for her fourth win in six starts this year.

"She's only got one small blemish on her record, and that was my fault," Pletcher said. "She's been awfully good all year."

Trainer H. Graham Motion took pride in another quality effort from Film Maker.

"She ran great," Motion said. "It's hard to be disappointed when they run like that."

Film Maker will make her third straight start in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf. She was second to Ouija Board in 2004 and third last year after clipping heels and stumbling.

Jade Queen held on well for third in the Flower Bowl, only a half-length behind Film Maker. Angara was fourth, followed by Argentina.

The time for 1 1/4 miles on the firm course was 2:02.47.