04/02/2003 12:00AM

Nonsuch Bay heavy choice


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - If racing secretary Dave Bailey's weight assignments are any indication, Friday's $75,000 Banshee Breeze Handicap at Gulfstream Park should be no contest.

Nonsuch Bay, a Grade 1 and Grade 2 winner last year, will carry high weight of 118 pounds in the 1 1/16-mile Banshee Breeze. Her nine rivals are carrying either 112 or 113 pounds.

Nonsuch Bay is truly the class of the field. She also has had two races over the track this winter, including a 6 1/4-length victory over a similarly overmatched group of allowance horses on March 10. Nonsuch Bay finished a troubled third behind Harmony Lodge and Gold Mover in her 2003 debut in the seven-furlong, Grade 3 Shirley Jones Handicap.

Last spring, Nonsuch Bay won the seven-furlong, Grade 2 Nassau County and the 1 1/8-mile, Grade 1 Mother Goose stakes. Her form tailed off after the Mother Goose and her trainer, Frank Alexander, decided to send her to the sidelines for a freshening following her second-place finish as the 9-5 favorite in the Pebbles Handicap on Oct. 14.

Alexander's main concern this winter for Nonsuch Bay has been the speed-conducive nature of the Gulfstream Park track. But the 4-year-old Nonsuch Bay had little problem overcoming the track bias when rallying from more than six lengths off the pace in her allowance win.

Eibar Coa, the meet's leading rider, will be aboard Nonsuch Bay for the first time in the Banshee Breeze.

Any worries Alexander had about getting an honest pace on Friday were erased when Win's Fair Lady and Dance the Slew were entered and drew alongside one another for the Banshee Breeze.

Win's Fair Lady brings a two-race win streak into the Banshee Breeze, including a gate-to-wire 10-length victory in the Wayward Lass Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.

Dance the Slew also comes off a front-running stakes win, in the off-the-turf Marshua's River Stakes, on March 15. She won by 6 1/4 lengths.

Redoubled Miss, a multiple stakes winner, could, like Nonsuch Bay, benefit from a rapid pace - especially if she is able to repeat her third-place finish behind the odds-on Allamerican Bertie in the Grade 3 Sabin Handicap earlier in the meet. That effort earned Redoubled Miss a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 96.

Also in the lineup are Stormy Frolic, Tonight's Wager, Kiss Me Twice, Lead Story, Sea Mist, and Tuff Chick.

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