05/26/2005 12:00AM

Thistledown: Just Michel formidable


It's hat-trick time for Just Michel. A consistent 5-year-old mare, Just Michel will shoot for her third consecutive stakes win at Thistledown while facing eight of her Ohio-bred peers in the $40,000 Brent's Princess at six furlongs.

Just Michel comes into the race off impressive wins in the Alyssa Handicap at Beulah Park and the Angenora at Thistledown, both at six furlongs, and if she retains her form she will have little difficulty adding to that string.

Just Michel likes to settle just off the pace in the opening quarter, then kick into gear. This tactic has enabled her to win 11 of 24 career starts and $229,553.

Just Michel is trained by Michael Nance and will be ridden by top rider Scott Spieth. Under the allowance conditions of the race, she is highweighted at 120 pounds.

The main opposition for Just Michel should come from Imahoneytoo and Bubble Dourbon.

Imahoneytoo, a stakes winner last season, finished second in her seasonal debut here going 5 1/2 furlongs in open allowance company. She is versatile, showing tactical speed in both routes and sprints, and is definitely a late threat in this spot. Julio Felix will ride for trainer Richard Zielinski at 114 pounds.

Bubble Dourbon was second behind Just Michel in the Angenora, beaten 2 1/2 lengths. She disputed the pace all the way that day and gained a slight advantage in midstretch before being chased down by Just Michel. The Tim Girten-trained Bubble Dourbon will be ridden by Jane Magrell and carries 114.