01/26/2004 12:00AM

At last, Nonsuch Bay to run


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Frank Alexander has been trying to get a race for Nonsuch Bay since the opening weekend of the meet. His quest will finally end when Nonsuch Bay takes on five rivals going a mile and 70 yards under optional claiming and allowance conditions Wednesday at Gulfstream Park.

Alexander is pointing Nonsuch Bay, winner of the 2002 Mother Goose Stakes, for the Grade 3 Sabin Handicap on Feb. 15. Nonsuch Bay has not started since finishing second in Aqueduct's Turnback the Alarm Stakes on Nov. 1.

"She ran well in her last start, but, like several of her other races last season, she ran into a bear," said Alexander, referring to Turnback the Alarm winner Pocus Hocus. "She needed a freshening so I gave her a little time off, but I didn't want to go into the Sabin without a race under her belt. She ran great here last season, and I'm looking forward to her doing the same again this winter."

During the 2003 Gulfstream meeting, , a daughter of Mr. Greeley, won two of her three starts, including the Banshee Breeze Handicap by 4 1/4 lengths. Her only loss over the track came in her 2003 debut, when she returned from a four-month hiatus and finished third behind multiple graded stakes winners Harmony Lodge and Gold Mover in the seven-furlong Shirley Jones Handicap.

Jerry Bailey, who was aboard Nonsuch Bay in the Turnback the Alarm, will have the mount again Wednesday.

If Nonsuch Bay runs into another bear in this lineup, it could be , a much improved filly who comes off the best effort of her career when beaten a head after setting a contested pace in Calder's Stage Door Betty Handicap on Dec. 27. Among the fillies to finish behind her that day was Secret Request, upset winner of Saturday's Sunshine Millions Distaff.

Pampered Princess should be able to control the pace and will stand some catching if allowed to relax on the lead under Edgar Prado.

Dakota Light, a stablemate of Secret Request, returns to the main track off a pair of grass outings and figures to improve for trainer David Brownlee.

Dakota Light won three overnight stakes in 2003, two on the main track at her home base of Calder, including the one-mile Snazzle Dazzle by six widening lengths Nov. 8.

Serenity's Smile, Gentille Alouette, and Never Fail, round out the starting lineup.

* Wednesday's program also marks the return of Lion Tamer, winner of last year's Grade 2 Hutcheson Stakes, in a seven-furlong optional claiming and allowance dash that drew a field of eight.