02/06/2010 12:00AM

No clear favorite in Suwannee River


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The field for Saturday's $125,000 Suwannee River may be far from the strongest in the 63-year history of the event - there isn't a graded stakes winner among the dozen fillies and mares in the body of the race - but it could be one of the most competitive lineups in a race that dates back to 1947.

Lady Shakespeare may go postward the tepid favorite for trainer Roger Attfield, coming off her near miss in the Marshua's River three weeks earlier. Lady Shakespeare, who posted four consecutive victories at Woodbine in 2009, rallied from near the rear of the pack to finish in a dead heat for second with Romacaca, just a head behind Quiet Harbor, in the 1 1/16-mile Marshua's River. She should benefit from the extra sixteenth of a mile she'll have to work with in the Grade 3 Suwannee River.

Trainer Christophe Clement has already won four editions of the Suwannee River and was deprived of a fifth when Green Girl was disqualified from the purse money after crossing the finish line first in 2008. On Saturday, Clement sends out Astrologie and Cable, both of whom are likely making their final start before heading to the breeding shed in the spring.

"I'd call them both live outsiders," Clement said. "I don't think either of the two will be favorites. Cable is knocking on the door. Astrologie has always trained better than she's raced. She had a little breathing issue, underwent surgery during the fall, and I think that has improved her. We'll find out on Saturday."

Another live outsider could be Tottie, who tries to make the jump from first-level allowance company into a Grade 3 stakes for trainer Chad Brown. Tottie came to the United States from England sporting just ordinary form but exploded from last at the head of the stretch to circle the field and capture her North American debut by 1 1/4 lengths here one month ago.

Long Approach makes just her second start since finishing second behind Criticism in Calder's Grade 2 La Prevoyante Handicap last April. She remains winless since fall 2007.

Lemonette is one of two horses trainer Eric Reed has entered in the Suwannee River, along with Sweet and Flawless. The 7-year-old Lemonette, runner-up in Aqueduct's Grade 3 Long Island Handicap in her 2009 finale, opened 2010 with an easy allowance win at Tampa Bay Downs. Sweet and Flawless, fourth in the Grade 1 Alabama last summer at Saratoga, has started just once on grass, a promising third in a 1 1/2-mile overnight stakes last summer at Arlington.