10/07/2005 11:00PM

Adieu stamps herself division leader

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Adieu, with John Velazquez up, drives to a two-length victory Saturday in the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes at Belmont, her fourth win in five starts.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Adieu overcame her inside post and a sloppy track to win Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 by two lengths at Belmont Park and establish herself as the likely favorite for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies on Oct. 29.

Along the Sea, a well-beaten third in the Grade 1 Matron, finished second, 4 3/4 lengths ahead of Keeneland Kat. Better Now, Catch My Fancy, Mykindasaint, Miss Normal, Philanthropy Lady, and Heckuva Rush completed the order of finish.

It was the fourth victory in five starts for Adieu, who added the Frizette to wins in the Grade 2 Spinaway and the listed Astoria earlier this year. Her only loss came in the Adirondack to Folklore, the

D. Wayne Lukas-trained filly who won last month's Matron by 14 lengths.

"She's got to have established herself as the divisional leader with her record against Folklore, having a 2-1 edge there," said Todd Pletcher, the trainer of Adieu. "It looks like the Spinaway and those races are holding up their form awful good with the way Folklore ran in the Matron and the way this filly ran today. Hopefully, Wayne didn't outsmart me by running in the Matron and having more time to the Breeders' Cup."

Adieu was stuck with the inside post, not necessarily the best spot for a one-turn mile race at Belmont. But she broke sharply under John Velazquez, who then let Jerry Bailey have the lead with Mykindasaint. Velazquez guided Adieu to the outside of Mykindasaint and stalked that rival through a half-mile in 45.26 seconds.

Adieu took a short lead from Mykindasaint around the turn, but Along the Sea and Keeneland Kat came to her outside approaching the quarter pole. In upper stretch, Adieu switched leads and pulled away from Along the Sea in the stretch.

Adieu, a daughter of El Corredor owned by Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier, and Derrick Smith, covered the mile in 1:38.07 and returned $5.20 as the 8-5 favorite.

"I kept gradually coming to that horse on the lead," Velazquez said. "I just kind of kissed to her a little bit because she lost interest. Down the lane, when I hit her, she goes on. She runs very spotty, but when you get after her she gives it to you."

Javier Castellano, the rider of Along the Sea, said he felt his filly would improve with added distance. Trainer Ralph Ziadei said he and Along the Sea's owner, the Buckram Oak Farm, will discuss running her in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Watchmon wins three-horse Jamaica

Trainer Patrick Reynolds and Watchmon found the silver lining on a gray, rainy day at Belmont Park.

Watchmon scored a 1 3/4-length victory in the three-horse, $300,000 for 3-year-olds. He ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.28 on the sealed, sloppy track.

Watchmon ($3.10), with Javier Castellano aboard, was entered as a main-track runner. The day-long rain put him in the short field against Crown Point and Woodlander.

Watchmon is unbeaten in three races since finishing ninth in the Belmont Stakes. He underwent a testicular procedure before returning at Saratoga on Aug. 27 in the best form of his career.

"There hasn't been a problem since," Reynolds said. "He moves good, and he's starting to muscle up behind."

Watchmon put away Woodlander on the final turn and held off a late run from Crown Point.

The race was downgraded a level to Grade 3 because of the surface switch.

- additional reporting by Mike Farrell