11/16/2006 1:00AM

Post 11 just fine for Quite a Bride


NEW YORK - Falling between the frenzy of the Breeders' Cup and the stakes-filled Thanksgiving weekend, Saturday's national stakes schedule is relatively light. The Grade 2, $150,000 Mrs. Revere Stakes for fillies on the turf at Churchill Downs is the biggest race of the day. A pair of Grade 3, $100,000 events - the Hollywood Prevue at Hollywood Park and the Stuyvesant Handicap at Aqueduct - are other stakes of note Saturday.

Mrs. Revere

Unless there is an exceptionally long run to the first turn, it is usually a good policy to attempt to beat speed horses breaking from the extreme outside in a two-turn race. They often have to be used early to either clear the field or gain good position to avoid losing ground around the first turn, and that frequently costs these horses in the late stages. But in handicapping, there are exceptions to almost every rule, and Quite a Bride, a speed horse who must break from post 11, is just such an exception. In fact, she is a strong play.

There are several reasons why Quite a Bride's outside draw is not a concern. While the run to the first turn going 1 1/16 miles on the Churchill Downs turf course is not exceptionally long, it is ample. More importantly, there is no one else in this field who has the kind of early foot Quite a Bride has at her disposal. And when Quite a Bride is able to run freely in front going a distance like this, she is very hard to beat.

Quite a Bride demonstrated this last time out in the Pebbles Stakes. She set a strong early pace over a footing that really wasn't all that fast, and she came home strongly, too, covering her last quarter-mile in 23 seconds. This resulted in an authoritative victory, and she earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 102. If she is able to approach that kind of number again, Quite a Bride will lead this field in a merry chase.

Hollywood Prevue

Notional scored a decisive win in his debut at Oak Tree, and galloped out strongly past the wire. He earned a 105 Beyer, which towers over the figures of his rivals in this field. But it is interesting that even though he hails from the high-profile barn of Doug O'Neill, Notional was let go at almost 12-1 in his debut, suggesting his effort was something of a surprise. It should also be noted that he got a dream trip sitting off an intense speed duel. Nevertheless, if Notional is able to duplicate his first start, he'll win, but since he will be a much lower price and faces much better competition, I'll try to beat him.

I'm going with Chief's Magic, who despite his disappointing loss last time out in the Barretts Juvenile looks like the controlling speed. There is no way to sugarcoat it - Chief's Magic getting nailed in the Barretts wasn't good, considering he had a clear lead with a furlong to go at Fairplex and was the 1-2 favorite. But Chief's Magic's debut romp at Del Mar was a good performance. He has fast workouts since his Barretts loss, and though Tyler Baze did little wrong aboard Chief's Magic in his first two starts, it's hard not to find the switch to Garret Gomez appealing.

Woodbine Slots Cup

True Metropolitan is going for his fifth straight win, Barracuda is going for his sixth straight win, and Just Rushing is going for his eighth straight win. But I like Eccentric to make this is second straight win.

I know that when Eccentric won the Fayette Handicap at Keeneland last time out, he rode the closer's bias and got a big break when a large opening on the rail appeared for him at the top of the stretch. But the field Eccentric beat in the Fayette was better than this one, and his closing style fits in a race where the pace figures to be strong and contested.