08/02/2006 12:00AM

Malibu Mint looks vulnerable


Malibu Mint is the only Grade 1 winner among the six fillies and mares entered in Friday's $150,000 Honorable Miss Stakes, and she's the likely favorite, although there are several factors that could make her vulnerable in the six-furlong, Grade 2 race. The Honorable Miss is one of three stakes on Friday's 10-race card, along with the $70,000 Ashado and $70,000 Capote Belle.

Malibu Mint is coming off the race of her life on July 15, an upset victory in Calder's Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap. She defeated runner-up Prospective Saint by 3 3/4 lengths, with the 1-5 Dubai Escapade also among her victims.

earned a 114 Beyer Speed Figure in the Princess Rooney, a number 21 points higher than her previous top figure. She could be a bounce candidate returning on relatively short rest. Also, trainer James Chapman is pointing Malibu Mint for the Grade 1 Ballerina on Aug. 25 and is in essence using the Honorable Miss as a prep for that race.

"She came out of the Princess Rooney so well I thought we might as well run her here and give her a chance to get over the track once prior to the Ballerina," Chapman said.

Horseplayers looking for alternatives to Malibu Mint might begin their search with Stormy Kiss, who exits a third-place finish behind Behaving Badly in the Grade 2 Genuine Risk Breeders' Cup Handicap. Stormy Kiss contested the pace before gradually weakening in the final furlong of the Genuine Risk.

"She used herself up a little too much," said trainer Barclay Tagg. "She's kind of a temperamental filly and there's a fine line between trying to take her back and not having her sulk or letting her go, having to withstand that kind of pressure."

ships in off a two-length victory in Delaware Park's Light Hearted Stakes. A consistent mare, she has been off the board just once in seven starts this year.

"She's run four good races in a row and is on top of her game, so now's a good time to try this type of competition," said her trainer, Larry Jones.

, runner-up in the Grade 2 Bed o' Roses earlier this year, also exits a career-best effort, winning a third-level optional claiming race on July 13.

The Todd Pletcher-trained Ever Elusive, a winner of three of five starts this year, and Reunited, the only member of the field with a win over the track, complete the lineup.