10/22/2007 11:00PM

Quite a Bride finds a fit

EmailOCEANPORT, N.J. - When Quite a Bride has run against some of the best filly-mare turf runners in North America this year, she has fared respectably, such as when she finished third in a very tough renewal of the First Lady earlier this month at Keeneland.

And when she has run against slightly lesser opposition, Quite a Bride has been relentless, winning three stakes, including the Grade 3 Mint Julep at Churchill Downs in course-record time in June.

Whether or not Quite a Bride is facing top-shelf opposition may be the main question horseplayers will ask themselves Thursday at Monmouth Park when the $100,000 Revidere Stakes is run as a co-feature on a 10-race card. Twelve horses were entered, although three of them will start only if the race is rained off the turf onto the main track.

Quite a Bride has been based most of the year at Churchill with Kenny McCarthy, the longtime assistant to trainer Bill Mott.

"We thought she ran a very good third at Keeneland against two of the better fillies on this side of the pond," said McCarthy, referring to the one-two finishers in the First Lady, Vacare and Precious Kitten. "She's kind of a Grade 3 horse that if she gets in with some heavy heads she's just not good enough. We could have run her at Churchill later on in the Cardinal, but that's a mile and an eighth, and after Bill went shopping for a spot he thought this race probably fit her better."

The speedy Quite a Bride, with Cornelio Velasquez to ride, figures prominently from the outset of the Revidere (race 7), a 1 1/16-mile turf race named for the 1976 champion

3-year-old filly. If she can't hold sway, the race could go any number of ways, with Mauralakana, another filly who has spent most of the year in Kentucky, and Naissance Royale, most recently eighth in the Grade 1 Spinster for trainer Christophe Clement, looking like the strongest challengers. Yet another top contender is Roshani, from Todd Pletcher's powerhouse barn.

Monmouth: Half-dozen contenders

Grass also is the surface for the other $100,000 race on the Thursday card, the Monmouth University (raceo9). The 5 1/2-furlong turf race starts in an infield chute that takes a dogleg left turn when it joins up with the main turf course on the backstretch.

Fans will need a scorecard or a Daily Racing Form to tell the players: From a field of 13, there is a three-horse entry trained by Tony Dutrow and a two-horse entry for owner John Petrini, including the lone main-track-only entrant, Joey P.

Once all that's settled, and assuming it stays on turf, the race still looks quite unsettled, with perhaps as many as a half-dozen legitimate contenders. The rail horse, Lakes Tune, figures as part of a rapid pace that also will probably involve Forest Park, John's Pic, Man of Danger, and Hesa Big Star. Whether any of those can stick around for the finish is a central issue, because if they can't, the race most likely would fall to one of the dangerous back runners, namely I've Got Speed, Silver Timber, Power Jeans, Salute the Count, or Suave Jazz.

* Between the two $100,000 stakes is a race restricted to older New Jersey-bred horses, the $75,000 Garden State Handicap (race 8). A field of eight is entered, with Rolled Up and Fagedaboudit Sal the likely favorites. First post is 12:30 p.m.