02/12/2009 12:00AM

Little rest for Bullsbay after flop


Perplexed with how poorly Bullsbay performed in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park, trainer Graham Motion has opted to wheel the 5-year-old horse back on two weeks' rest in Saturday's $50,000 John B. Campbell Handicap at Laurel Park.

Bullsbay will break from post 2 and face nine rivals in the 1 1/8-mile Campbell, which is the secondary feature on a nine-race card that includes the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap.

With two allowance wins at Churchill Downs last fall and a solid second-place finish in the Grade 3 Hal's Hope on Jan. 3 at Gulfstream, Bullsbay appeared ready to make an imprint on the handicap division. But in the Donn, Bullsbay didn't fire at all and was eased as the 6-1 fourth choice.

"I could not find an explanation why he ran like that, except some horses throw in races like that on the track at Gulfstream," Motion said. "I wanted to make sure as soon as possible that it's out of character."

If Bullsbay returns to form Saturday, he looks like the one to beat under Jeremy Rose. Before the Donn, Bullsbay's three previous dirt races are all good enough to win this.

If Bullsbay fails to fire again, the race could boil down to a battle between the Gary Capuano-trained P V Lightening and brother Dale Capuano's Ryan's for Real. P V Lightening tired to third after setting contested fractions in the one-turn Native Dancer last out and figures to return to his stalking ways while stretching back out in distance.

Ryan's for Real won the Grade 3 Bill Hartack Memorial Handicap last April at Hawthorne, but has not run since finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Pimlico Special last May. Five of his seven career wins have come at Laurel.

Sharps Island and Southern Rainbow will have to overcome the two outside post positions.

Fabulous Strike draws post 3

Fabulous Strike will break from post 3 when he meets the rising sprint star True Quality and four others in Monday's Grade 2, $150,000 General George Handicap at seven furlongs.

Fabulous Strike will carry 127 pounds including Edgar Prado. True Quality, who drew post 2, will carry 117 including C.C. Lopez.

In his most recent start, Fabulous Strike beat True Quality in the Grade 3 Gravesend Handicap at Aqueduct on Dec. 27. True Quality came back to romp by 3 3/4 lengths in the Paumonok Stakes on Jan. 24.