05/28/2002 11:00PM

Maiden winners step up to allowance ranks

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ELMONT, N.Y. - Next week at Belmont Park, nine stakes will be run over three days, highlighted by the $1 million Belmont Stakes on June 8. But on Friday, a rather ordinary card awaits handicappers.

The eighth-race feature, a 1 1/16-mile first-level allowance, brings together eight fillies and mares, three of whom are coming off easy maiden wins.

Glimmering Bay, a Capote filly, makes her first start since August, when she romped in her career debut in a 5 1/2-furlong race at the Bay Meadows fair meet. Glimmering Bay, owned by the Maktoum family of Dubai, raced last year for Eoin Harty and makes her first start for Kiaran McLaughlin.

My Golden Girl, a daughter of Unbridled, found the slop to her liking when she captured a maiden race by 3 1/2 lengths on May 2 at Aqueduct. Trainer Randy Schulhofer will put blinkers on My Golden Girl for this race.

Raise Devil was a 4 1/2-length winner in the slop at Aqueduct on April 20 in her third start. Allen Jerkens, who is enjoying a strong Belmont spring meet, trains Raise Devil, a Devil His Due filly. Through Monday's card, Jerkens had a record of 4-5-2 from 18 starters.

Among the horses with starts at this level, Strike the Sky looks like she has the best chance. Trained by Steve Young, Strike the Sky won a seven-furlong maiden race at Aqueduct in April in her second start and then was a sharp third after pressing the pace in an allowance race on May 1.

John Velazquez picks up the mount on Strike the Sky, who drew post 2.

Sixtyone Margaux has failed twice as the favorite at this level. A Cozzene filly trained by Bill Mott, Sixtyone Margaux won a maiden race by 8 1/2 lengths at Gulfstream Park this winter, covering six furlongs in 1:10.55. Sixtyone Margaux broke awkwardly in her two subsequent starts, finishing fourth and then second.

Jerry Bailey rides Sixtyone Margaux, who drew the outside post.

Friday's card begins at 3 p.m. Post time for the eighth is 6:36 p.m.

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