03/06/2008 12:00AM

Taletobetold hoping for better luck


NEW ORLEANS - The Bienville Stakes, the 10th and final stakes on Saturday's card, looks to be a wide-open affair, as 12 fillies and mares go 5 1/2 furlongs on turf for a purse of $100,000.

The race has story lines and angles aplenty, from the rematch between Taletobetold and Stylish Wildcat, to Jazzy's return from her disappointing performance in last year's Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

Taletobetold will be looking to avenge her narrow defeat to Stylish Wildcat last October in the Franklin County at Keeneland, where she closed from four lengths back only to be beaten a neck.

In Taletobetold's last race, the Mariah's Storm at Churchill, she was right there again, looming in the stretch, getting closed in tight quarters, and ultimately losing by a half-length.

"She's been unlucky a couple of times," said trainer Eddie Kenneally. "But we gave her a break after her Churchill Downs race, and she's come back better than ever."

Stylish Wildcat will have a new trainer, a new jockey, and will be racing over a new turf course. That said, she has 5 wins and 3 second-place finishes from 8 tries in turf sprints - run over five different courses with four different jockeys, so don't expect the change to deter her.

New trainer Christophe Clement is expecting a big race out of her, though he is worried about the long stretch at the Fair Grounds.

"She's a very nice filly with an enormous amount of speed," Clement said. "The worry is the long stretch - it doesn't favor the speed horses."

Jazzy, on the other hand, figures to love the long stretch. Off since her pummeling in the Breeders' Cup last October, she has thrown three bullets in morning works and looks primed for her return.

She stalked the leaders in her victory in last year's Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap, getting up to win by three-quarters of a length in the 6 1/2-furlong race. She'll have to do her work more quickly in the Bienville, but the long stretch could play to her closing style.

Those looking for horses with experience on the Fair Grounds turf will find plenty, including Danceroftherealm, who ran a career best last out in the Leggio Memorial, and Smitty's Sunshine, who dominated last year's running of the Bienville.

Another horse on the rise who likes the Fair Grounds turf is Spanish Ghost, who defeated two of her Bienville foes, Bewitching Miss and Kindling, in her last race. In that race, she earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 86, while coming from six lengths back to win by three-quarters of a length. Ramsey Zimmerman will be back aboard Spanish Ghost, who figures to be closing at the end.