09/30/2002 11:00PM

Stay Forever, Beautiful Honor boost Wolfson's high win rate


MIAMI - Trainer Marty Wolfson had a big weekend, winning three races, including Saturday's Noble Royalty Handicap with his budding turf star Stay Forever.

Stay Forever won for the fourth time in five career starts, exploding through the stretch to win the Noble Royalty in her turf debut. A 5-year-old daughter of Stack and owned by her breeder, the Santa Cruz Ranch Inc., Stay Forever was making her third start following a lengthy layoff.

"We had to stop on her as a 3-year-old because of a bowed tendon," said Wolfson. "She was off 18 months. I could have brought her back sooner but I know the family and they are all late developers so I took my time once she came back off the farm."

Wolfson trained Stay Forever's older sister, the stakes winner Sierra Virgen, and also had the multiple stakes winner Winfama for Santa Cruz.

"I think the further she goes the better she'll like it," Wolfson said of Stay Forever. "She can go 13-second eighths all day and then kick in with an 11 and change like she did the other day. I'll probably point her for the My Charmer" - a Grade 3 on Dec. 7 - "with the long-range plan being the La Prevoyante," a Grade 2 race at 1 1/2 miles on the turf on Dec. 28.

Wolfson has now saddled 25 winners from 92 starters during the meet. His win rate of 27 percent is easily the highest of any of the trainers in the top 15 in the standings. Among his other winners last weekend was Beautiful Honor, a 2-year-old daughter of Double Honor owned by Martin Cherry who dominated maiden competition in her second career start.

"She is very fast," Wolfson said of Beautiful Honor. "She's just a little bitty thing so I'm not sure how far she'll go, although the way she relaxes maybe she'll go further than she looks. And it's great to have Marty [Cherry] back here again."

Wolfson and Cherry had been a potent team in this area for several years, campaigning stakes winners such as Sharp Appeal, Hurrahy, and Fantasy Angel, before Cherry transferred the majority of his stock to trainer John Kimmel in New York two years ago.

Best of the Rest vs. High Ideal

Nominations were released earlier this week for five of the stakes on the Festival of the Sun undercard a week from Saturday. Among the most intriguing of those races will be the $100,000 Spend a Buck Handicap, which figures to pit defending champion Best of the Rest against High Ideal and three-time Grade 1 winner Sir Bear.

High Ideal tailed off a bit after twice finishing second to Best of the Rest earlier this meet but appeared to be back on his game winning an overnight handicap in his last start.

"He had some foot problems this summer," said Wolfson, "but he only got beat a half-length by Best of the Rest earlier this season and I don't think my horse was as good then as he is now."

Wolfson will also run Coolbythepool in the $100,000 Shocker T. Handicap on the Festival of the Sun undercard.

Rule Brittania returning from layoff

Rule Brittania, one of the top young fillies on the grounds here after winning her 3-year-old debut at Gulfstream Park during the winter of 2001, will return to action for the first time in nearly 20 months in Saturday's $75,000 U Can Do It Handicap.

Rule Brittania has won 3 of 4 career starts, her lone setback coming against Valid Forbes in the 2000 My Dear Girl Stakes. She has not started since easily defeating second level allowance company at Gulfstream on Feb. 2, 2001.

Trained by Leo Azpurua Jr. earlier in her career, Rule Brittania is now under the care of Gary Cortolillo.

"I've had her for three months," said Cortolillo. "She was a little nervous and skittish at first but she's settled down nicely and is training well. Six-and-a-half furlongs is really not the ideal distance to come back against these type of horses, I'd rather go a little shorter, but it's the only stakes available for her right now."

Rule Brittania will have her work cut out in the U Can Do It against a field that will included Sugar N Spice, Vague Memory, and the speedy Chispiski.

Chispiski has won five of her last six starts, including the Roamin Rachel Stakes in her last start. The former claimer is now in the barn of Ron Spatz.

"This will be a class check for her," said Spatz, who also has Redoubled Miss nominated to the U Can Do It. "This is a pretty tough group of fillies and mares running here in a little $75,000 stakes."

* Hear No Evil, one of the top 2-year-olds on the grounds earlier in the season, worked five furlongs in a blistering 59 seconds from the gate on Tuesday and is expected to return to action for trainer Jim Hatchett in the $75,000 Birdonthewire Stakes on Oct. 12.