11/10/2005 1:00AM

Laurel: Filly tackles colts


Fillies don't beat colts in stakes races as long as 1 1/8 miles very often, but Promenade Girl has a big shot to do just that in the $75,000 Northern Dancer Stakes at Laurel Park.

Unbeaten in two starts since she was stretched out beyond six furlongs, Promenade Girl brings the two best recent Beyer Speed Figures into the Northern Dancer.

The nine-furlong race, restricted to Maryland-bred 3-year-olds, drew a field of eight.

In her first start around two turns, Promenade Girl drew away from first-level allowance fillies at Delaware, earning an 88 Beyer. She followed up by winning the one-mile Twixt at Laurel by 7 1/4 lengths, getting a 97 Beyer.

Smooth Bid and Gold Casing are the next-fastest horses in the field.

Smooth Bid's best race came in January, when he was beaten a neck in the Grade 3 Lecomte at Fair Grounds, earning an 88 Beyer. Trainer Steve Asmussen switched Smooth Bid to the turf in April, and the colt responded with three consecutive in-the-money finishes. He has been off for a month following two subpar performances in New York, one on turf and the other on dirt.

Gold Casing needed six starts to win his maiden, but has been extremely sharp lately, winning his last two starts by a combined 10 1/2 lengths. His 85 Beyer going a mile stamps him as a contender in this spot.