09/22/2004 11:00PM

Changing World live shot for upset

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ELMONT, N.Y. - Away from the races for eight months, Changing World was so rank in an allowance race last month at Saratoga that her trainer, Barclay Tagg, couldn't bear to watch her run.

"She was rank and ran off; I put my glasses down," Tagg said, recalling the early stages of that Aug. 19 race at Saratoga.

As rank as she was, however, Changing World was equally as game, winning that third-level allowance race by a neck. With a race under her belt and a solid work tab since, Changing World - perhaps more relaxed - could upset the likes of Dedication and Ocean Drive in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Noble Damsel Handicap at Belmont Park.

could get overlooked in the wagering in a nine-horse field that also includes stakes winners Personal Legend, Coney Kitty, High Court, and Hour of Justice.

Changing World, a 4-year-old daughter of Spinning World, won the Frances A. Genter Handicap last December at Calder at odds of 8-1. Tagg said Changing World came out of that race with a gash in her leg and "we just gave her a little extra time. She's a hundred percent now."

Changing World has won her last two starts on firm turf, and she gets the services of Javier Castellano, who is 2 for 3 aboard the filly. At 113 pounds, Changing World gets seven pounds from starting highweight Dedication.

, who was fourth as the favorite in this race last year, makes her first start since finishing fifth in the Just a Game Breeders' Cup here on June 5. That was Dedication's sixth race of the year and it came six days after she finished second against males in the Grade 3 Jaipur Handicap.

Trainer Christophe Clement said he purposely gave Dedication the summer off with the Noble Damsel in mind because it's a one-turn mile. Clement believes that seven furlongs to a mile is Dedication's best game because "she's got an amazing cruising speed. I just hope I got her tight enough from the break."

, the probable favorite, comes off a solid effort, winning the Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup Handicap at Saratoga, one of three Grade 3 victories on her resume this year. Ocean Drive is at her best when able to stalk, and her outside post position should help her do just that under John Velazquez.

"She's one of those fillies you can do whatever you want with," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "She's got enough tactical speed. I think a mile to a mile and a sixteenth is perfect for her."