07/02/2007 12:00AM

New York fillies square off


New York-based graded stakes-winning 4-year-old fillies J'ray and Meribel head a field of eight females going 1 1/16 miles on turf in the $100,000 Dr. James Penny Memorial Handicap at Philadelphia Park.

J'ray, the 123-pound highweight trained by Todd Pletcher, has been off since winning back-to-back stakes at Fair Grounds during February and March, including the Grade 3 Bayou Breeders' Cup Handicap. She has had mixed success racing off similar layoffs in the past, winning the Jessamine at Keeneland in October 2005, but finishing third as the 6-5 favorite in the Appalachian at Keeneland in April 2006.

Meribel, trained by Christophe Clement, comes off back-to-back wins in minor restricted stakes at Belmont Park. Her best performance came when she won the Grade 3 Valley View at Keeneland last fall.