Updated on 09/16/2011 8:56AM

Look out: Stylish returns in form


SALEM, N.H. - Sunday's $100,000 Spicy Living Stakes will likely give trainer Bill Mott a sweep of the major stakes at Rockingham this year. The Mott-trained Stylish, who won the Rock Breeders' Cup Handicap a month ago, is scaring away most challengers for the 1 1/8-mile turf race.

The return to New Hamsphire will give several horses another chance to try Stylish after her four-length win in the July 4 Rock Breeders' Cup. But it's faint hope for those trying to keep her from becoming the fifth runner to pull the Rock B.C./Spicy Living double.

Christophe Clement, who won the Spicy Living with Nordican Inch in 2000, will take a crack at Stylish again in the Spicy Living. He will send Calista under jockey Joe Hampshire. The Clement-trained Step With Style finished third under Hampshire in the Rock Breeders' Cup.

"It really looks to me like Chris [Clement] is trying to come with a different type of filly to run at Stylish," said Hampshire. "With Step With Style, she's the type you've got to be patient with and try to sit back. We tried Stylish that way and it didn't work out. Calista looks more like a filly that will be in the race early."

A new threat to Stylish could come from Sunstone and trainer Bobby Barbara. The British-bred Sunstone last finished a close fourth in the Grade 2 New York Handicap in her fourth race in the U.S. She hasn't won since taking an allowance race in France last November, but has improved her speed figures in all four U.S. starts.

Sword Princess, who overcame a rough trip to finish second in the Rock Breeders' Cup is back to try Stylish again despite a desperate dead-heat win in an allowance race last Sunday.

Trainer Michael Dickinson entered De Aar in the Spicy Living, but like he did in the Rock Breeders' Cup, threatened to scratch because of Stylish's presence.

"We'll go and do out best, but I can't beat Stylish," said Dickinson. "The distance change helps us. An honest pace would definitely help us, but there's no way we can bump [Stylish's] weight up to 134 between now and Sunday, is there?"

At 124 pounds Stylish is spotting at least nine pounds to her nearest competitor.

Brandala, a recent Delaware allowance winner for trainer Thomas Walsh, drew the outside post in the field of nine. Quick Kissin, Sunlit Ridge and Noble Spread will be longshots from local barns.

The race is scheduled for 4:43 p.m. with a Lottery Ticket giveaway and mountain bike raffle for fans leading up to the simulcasts of the Jim Dandy from Saratoga and the Haskell from Monmouth.

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