05/22/2002 11:00PM

Orphan Lover, True Tear Drops meet again


ALTOONA, Iowa - Stakes winners Orphan Lover and True Tear Drops square off in Saturday night's $60,000 Bob Bryant Stakes at Prairie Meadows.

Orphan Lover enters the Bryant, a six-furlong race restricted to Iowa-bred 3-year-old fillies, off a 2 3/4-length allowance victory against older runners here 10 days ago. Last October, Orphan Lover posted a gate-to-wire victory over open company in the Prairie Meadows Debutante.

Paul Pearson trains Orphan Lover, a daughter of Friendly Lover, for her owner-breeders River Ridge Ranch. Overall, Orphan Lover has a record of 3-2-1 from eight starts and more than $90,000 in earnings. Glenn Corbett has a return riding call. Orphan Lover is the co-highweight in the six-horse field at 121 pounds.

True Tear Drops won the Iowa Sorority stakes here last September by three lengths over Orphan Lover. She then finished third behind Orphan Lover in the Debutante. In her most recent start True Tear Drops rallied from last in midstretch to finish fourth, beaten 4 1/4 lengths, by Orphan Lover on May 15. Terry Thompson, the meet's leading rider, has the call for trainer Larry Hunt at 121 pounds.

One Fine Shweetie should not be overlooked Saturday. The lightly raced and rapidly improving for her trainer, Don Von Hemel, she scored an easy 7 3/4-length win against maiden special weight company here on May 3.

Jockey Cindy Noll, who has ridden True Tear Drops in all seven of her career starts, gave up the mount to ride One Fine Shweetie. One Fine Shweetie gets in at 115 pounds, six fewer than her two main rivals Saturday.