12/29/2003 1:00AM

Richetta stands out


Richetta didn't make her career debut until August and was still eligible for a first-level allowance race in October. During a span of 35 days, Richetta blossomed quickly and reeled off three consecutive stakes victories at Laurel Park.

Richetta will be heavily favored to extend her string of stakes triumphs to four in Wednesday's Maryland Juvenile Fillies Championship, one of two $100,000 stakes for statebred 2-year-olds on Laurel Park's last program of 2003.

In the co-featured Maryland Juvenile Championship, White Mountain Boy and Cryptic Skier, who finished noses apart in the career debut for both horses last month, are rematched.

Richetta has steadily moved forward on the Beyer Speed Figure scale, improving from a 58 in her first start against winners to 78, 81, and 88 in winning the Maryland Million Lassie, Heavenly Cause, and Selima stakes. She then was given a freshening by trainer Robin Graham.

While Richetta appears imposing on paper, it's unknown whether she can overcome post 8 and handle 1 1/8 miles. "I'm concerned about the outside post, but being a mile and an eighth will make it a little easier to get into position," Graham said. "I don't think she'll have any problem getting the distance, but she hasn't run in six weeks. Hopefully, I've done my job well because she certainly has the ability."

Sea of Promise, second to Richetta in the Heavenly Cause, is the only other filly in the field to break 80 on the Beyer scale. She earned an 87 for her most recent performance, a 4 1/2-length win against first-level allowance rivals. Sea of Promises has yet to race beyond seven furlongs, but has an above-average Tomlinson distance rating of 377 at nine furlongs.

Two others with good distance breeding are Whole Lotta Love, who crushed maidens by 12 lengths at seven furlongs, and Tempting Note, who has won her last two starts, both at 1 1/16 miles, by a combined margin of eight lengths.

The six-horse division for males boils down to White Mountain Boy and Cryptic Skier. White Mountain Boy prevailed by a nose in their first meeting and since then was awarded the win in the seven-furlong Rollicking via disqualification.

Cryptic Skier improved his Beyer from 78 to 83 when he crushed seven maidens, winning by 11 1/2 lengths in his second start. He is half-brother of the mare Grand Valley, who won an optional claiming race at nine furlongs last year, and Tamayo, runner-up in the 2002 Maryland Million Oaks at 1 1/16 miles.