11/19/2010 1:21PM

Stage Trick brings strong form to Honey Bee Stakes


Stage Trick, who has run much better out of town than she has at Monmouth Park, will attempt to transfer her good recent form to the Jersey Shore when she meets eight other fillies and mares in Sunday’s closing-day feature, the $70,000 Honey Bee Stakes.

A 4-year-old trained by Alan Goldberg, Stage Trick most recently led wire to wire in one division of the off-the-turf Rosenna at Delaware Park. The last time she raced the precise distance of Sunday’s one-mile race, in a high-priced optional claimer at Parx Racing, Stage Trick scored by 1 3/4 lengths. She is coupled in the wagering with Check Point, who is a neck shy of being 2 for 2 since returning from a two-month layoff in September.

In contrast to her good record in Delaware and Pennsylvania, Stage Trick was beaten 20 lengths in each of her last two starts at Monmouth, the Grade 2 Molly Pitcher and the $412,000 Lady’s Secret.

As a confirmed front-runner, Stage Trick is likely to face early challenges from Debonair Darling, who returns from two months on the sidelines; Island Time, a 3-year-old who wheels back in a week after running last in the Memories of Silver on turf; and Solo Piano, who adds blinkers for trainer Bill Mott while also switching from turf to dirt.

Debonair Darling, who missed by a neck last time out in the Politely in mid-September, comes from the barn of Greg Sacco, who is just 1 for 15 with horses returning from an absence of 61 to 180 days in a route.

Island Time goes turf to dirt for Jason Servis, who shows a 6-for-17 hit rate with horses switching surfaces the last five years.

Solo Piano was good enough to lead through the first six furlongs of the one-mile, Grade 2 Shuvee in May and won going seven furlongs at Saratoga in August 2009.

The high-percentage trainer angle play is Ask the Moon, who is only 1 for 11 at Monmouth but 5 for 9 at the Honey Bee distance. She makes the second start of her current form cycle, an angle that has produced an 11-for-46 hit rate (24 percent) for trainer Ned Allard, including 3 for 4 with Ask the Moon.

Emily Allstar, a six-time winner locally, returns to a route after a dull effort sprinting in the College of New Jersey. Two starts ago, Emily Allstar beat New Jersey-breds going 1 1/16 miles in the Jersey Girl Handicap.