10/10/2003 11:00PM

Andover Lady's last excusable


ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer John Kimmel did not see it as overly ambitious when he entered Andover Lady in last month's Grade 1 Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap off just an entry-level allowance win.

"I thought she had a big chance to win that race," said Kimmel, whose filly ran seventh in the Garden City. "I was very disappointed in that performance."

Kimmel believes he found an excuse for that effort and is looking for Andover Lady to rebound in Monday's Grade 3, $100,000 Pebbles Handicap at Belmont Park.

Kimmel said Andover Lady, a daughter of Kris. S, came out of the race with a sore back, and has undergone some chiropractic work since the Garden City. Kimmel said the most recent examination of the filly did not show any problems and Kimmel is hoping to see the effort he thought he'd get in the Garden City.

"I think she's back to where she needs to be and she should handle the distance," Kimmel said. "I think she can handle any type of going; there might have been some reasons that cost her last time."

Edgar Prado will ride Andover Lady from post 2.

Betty's Wish, who has won three consecutive starts for trainer Bobby Frankel, is the horse to beat in the Pebbles. Betty's Wish won her turf debut in the listed Starine Stakes going a mile here on Sept. 24, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 95, tops among the field.

"I was impressed with her race the other day," Frankel said. "She was strong through the stretch."

Trainer Christophe Clement had planned to run the Group 1 winner Meridiana in the Pebbles, but that filly came down with a fever Saturday morning and was not entered. Instead, Clement put in Where We Left Off, who finished second behind Betty's Wish in the Starine.

"She's been improving all the time; she tries very hard," Clement said. "She got beat on softer turf last time, but she belongs in the race."

Harmonist, Little Miss Pamela, Boom Bah Yay, and Mystery Itself complete the field if on turf. Devotion Unbridled and Beauty on Duty are entered if the race is moved to the dirt.