08/28/2001 11:00PM

Empress Livia goes after four-bagger


MUSKEGON, Mich. - Empress Livia, winner of the Ann Arbor Stakes, will be looking for her fourth consecutive victory when she takes on seven 3-year-old fillies in the $25,000 Mona Lake Stakes Friday evening at Great Lakes Downs.

Empress Livia, from the barn of meet-leading trainer Gerald Bennett and owned by Elizabeth Weber, started her career here this spring, and it took her four races to win her maiden.

But she followed that initial victory with the convincing score in the Ann Arbor under jockey Luis Martinez Jr., and Bennett again gives Martinez the call. Empress Livia will break from from the rail in the seven-furlong Mona Lake.

Foreign Country, owned and bred by Joan and Farid Sefa, has been away from the races since November, but has an impressive re"sume". She was the top 2-year-old filly at last year's meet, winning three stakes, including the prestigious Michigan Sire Stakes. A daughter of Sefapiano who is trained by Brenda Hill, Foreign Country has won 4 of 7 starts, all at Great Lakes Downs, and has never been worse than third. Regular rider Freddie Mata will be aboard Foreign Country, who will start from post six.

Felicia and Jerry Campbell's I Match Too was third in the Ann Arbor to Empress Livia but came into that race off of three wins, including the Regret and the Plymouth Stakes. Leading rider Terry Houghton will ride I Match Too from post three for trainer Ronnie Allen.

The rest of the field, from the inside, consists of My City Girl, Louis Stokes in the irons; Joy of Brandy, Mary Doser; Just Tricks, Luis J. Martinez; Appealing Water, Rafael Estrella; and Ozilda's Karen, Felipe Santos.