06/27/2002 11:00PM

'My Honey' good, but no walkover


PLEASANTON, Calif. - On paper, Sunday's $40,000-added Juan Gonzalez Memorial Stakes at the Alameda County Fair seems to be a one-horse race.

But even though My Honey Bunny comes in with the best credentials, trainer Mike Harrington knows his 2-year-old filly has her work cut out for her in the five-furlong race.

My Honey Bunny has a win and two thirds in three starts. In her second start, she won a $40,000 maiden claiming race by seven lengths. In her last start on June 2, she was third in the $98,775 Cinderella Stakes at Hollywood Park.

"The timing comes up good," Harrington said of the Juan Gonzalez, but there are other reasons he decided to enter My Honey Bunny.

"I've got three [2-year-old fillies] all running in the same place. I have to find spots for them."

Harrington believes his others are better suited for Thursday's $100,000-added Landaluce Stakes at Hollywood Park so Sunday's Juan Gonzalez seemed a natural spot for My Honey Bunny.

"When she broke her maiden, she was impressive, but when you run for $40,000 [claiming], you don't know what you're beating," Harrington said.

"Her last race is what impressed me. My wife has a nice filly who ran second, and we were third behind her."

My Honey Bunny stalked a very fast opening quarter while third, dropped back a bit into the stretch but finished gamely to reclaim third at the wire.

"She ran very well," Harrington said.

Because she is a Cal-bred, My Honey Bunny is eligible for a Cal-bred bonus, which means she's actually running for a $52,000 purse.

"Being a Cal-bred makes it a good purse," Harrington said.

Harrington wishes the race were longer, though.

"I think she needs more distance," he said.

Of the nine nominated to the race, only Frisco Belle, trained by Greg Gilchrist, has won a straight maiden race. She broke in a tangle but ran well from off the pace and finished well to win her debut June 12 at Bay Meadows.

Wild Girl, trained by Jeff Bonde, was fourth in her debut in the Time to Leave Stakes on June 15 at Bay Meadows. She will be the main danger to My Honey Bunny.