06/28/2007 12:00AM

Rutherienne one to beat in Boiling Springs


OCEANPORT, N.J. - The consistent Rutherienne bids for another victory Saturday in the Grade 3, $150,000 Boiling Springs Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on the turf at Monmouth Park.

The 1 1/16-mile race attracted a field of seven for the race that was once a fixture at the Meadowlands.

Rutherienne has won 4 of 5 under the guidance of Christophe Clement. After winning convincingly first-time out at Calder in November, Rutherienne has run exclusively in stakes.

In her most recent effort, Rutherienne made a strong outside run to dead-heat for the victory in the Grade 3 Sands Point Stakes at Belmont Park.

"She's doing very well," Clement said. "She's a very competitive filly and these graded races are always competitive."

Sharp Susan had won back-to-back starts before finishing fourth in the Sands Point.

"We wound up behind a slow pace," trainer Bill Mott said. "Although one of the winners [Rutherienne] came from behind us, we weren't able to quicken off those fractions. It just didn't work out."

Prior to the Sands Point, Sharp Susan posted a front-running score in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride at Gulfstream Park.

Red Birkin ships down from Canada for trainer Roger Attfield. She captured a first-level allowance most recently at Woodbine. Her previous race was her lone stakes appearance, a close third in the Appalachian at Keeneland.

Todd Pletcher, Monmouth's leading trainer, sends out two - Christies Treasure and More Than a Feelin - and they race uncoupled.

Christies Treasure rallied from far back to get fourth in the Woodbine Oaks in her last race.

More Than a Feelin makes her stakes debut following a neck loss in a first-level allowance race here on June 1.

Eternal Grace iffy for Dearly Precious

The 3-year-old filly theme continues in the supporting stakes, the $60,000 Dearly Precious.

Trainer Kelly Breen is hopeful of having Eternal Grace healthy for the six-furlong race.

She began her career here last summer by winning her maiden at first asking and then suffering a head loss in the Sorority Stakes. In her final start of the campaign, Eternal Grace finished last in the Grade 1 Matron Stakes at Belmont.

She hasn't really gotten untracked this year with one win in three races.

There has been coughing in some Monmouth barns and Eternal Grace came down with a touch of the bug.

"We're about 75 percent to run," said Breen. "She's coming off some [respiratory] bleeding in the last race and she has a tiny bit of mucus. She's getting better."

Under the circumstances, Breen is considering a change in tactics.

"Maybe we've been trying to rate her a little too much," Breen said. "With the track bias now leaning toward speed, and with her coughing a little bit, we might wind up on the lead and say 'Catch me, if you can'."

Princess Janie finds an easier spot after running fifth in the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes at Belmont.

"I thought I'd give her a chance to get graded stakes- placed," said trainer Cam Gambolati. "It was a Grade 1 and a short field, so we took a shot. I think she needs a positive experience after that."