02/22/2008 12:00AM

Many speeds, questionable closers spells chaos


ARCADIA, Calif. - At six furlongs on the Santa Anita main track, and loaded with speed, the $100,000 Honest Lady Stakes on Sunday sets up for a closer.

But none showed up. Eight fillies and mares entered the Honest Lady, most with similar front-running styles.

Coco Belle and Overly Tempting are the quickest of the quick. They will be hounded by pressers Selvatica and Unspoken Word. Sekira and Fleetheart run best in slower-paced races, and both could get buried chasing the heat.

If there is a "trip horse," it might be Tiz Elemental or Glorified, both of whom can rate and finish. Tiz Elemental, however, has not raced since she was injured last April. Glorified has targeted the race for weeks; the question is whether she is good enough.

The Honest Lady might have had greater ramifications to the Breeders' Cup Filly-Mare Sprint this fall at Santa Anita, but the track plans to replace its current racing surface. It has been refurbished once already this meet, and trainer Ron Ellis believes the change will benefit Glorified, third-place finisher Dec. 29 in the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes.

"I don't think she liked the track that day, it was rock hard," Ellis said. "We obviously have a different surface now."

Glorified earned a modest 85 Beyer Speed Figure in the La Brea.

"I thought she ran okay coming off a six-month layoff, and she probably hooked the best female sprinter in California," Ellis said, referring to Dearest Trickski.

That was the fourth career start for Glorified, whose career-best Beyer is 93. Ellis backed off Glorified after the La Brea to point specifically for the Honest Lady. She drew the outside post, where jockey Jose Valdivia should find a pressing trip while racing in the clear.

She will have to catch one-dimensional speedball Coco Belle, the 123-pound co-highweight with Tiz Elemental, and front-runner Overly Tempting, who set a fast pace recently in the Grade 1, seven-furlong Santa Monica before weakening late and finishing third behind two deep closers.

A shorter distance benefits Overly Tempting, trained by Bruce Headley, who already has a stakes win this meet with a sprinter making its second start of the meet - Surf Cat, in the Grade 2 San Carlos last weekend.

Coco Belle is the high-figure horse in the field off a 100 Beyer in her last start, on Oct. 27 at Monmouth.