05/28/2008 11:00PM

Fillies get rematch in Sands Point


ELMONT, N.Y. - I Lost My Choo will seek to avenge a narrow loss to Alwajeeha in last month's Grade 3 Appalachian at Keeneland when the two 3-year-old fillies head the field entered for Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 Sands Point Handicap at Belmont Park.

Seven fillies were entered for the turf, while Forest Trail will run only if forecast rain moves the race to the dirt.

I Lost My Choo, a New York-bred daughter of Western Expression, had won three consecutive turf races at Gulfstream Park heading into the Appalachian. Breaking from the rail in a race with little pace, I Lost My Choo was a bit rank and hard to handle under Edgar Prado. She raced much closer to the pace than she had in her previous turf races and was beaten only a head while finishing third behind Alwajeeha and Sweepstake.

"She drew inside, there's a short run to the turn, and when she broke she was a bit rank going into the turn," trainer Phil Serpe said. "Edgar reached up to grab a hold of her, and she threw her head up. To tell you the truth, I thought she ran a great race."

Serpe has liked the way I Lost My Choo has trained since the Appalachian, and he thinks the 1 1/8 mile-distance of this race will benefit his filly.

"I like the added distance, and Edgar will have a better idea how to handle her leaving the starting gate," Serpe said. "She's certainly shown she belongs with this group of horses."

I Lost My Choo, owned and bred by Carl Lizza's Flying Zee Stable, will break from post 7 under Prado.

Alwajeeha, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, displayed a strong closing kick when rallying four wide under John Velazquez to get up in the Appalachian. She has 2 wins and 2 seconds from her last 4 turf starts.

"I thought Johnny did a good job placing her in the middle of the pack with the slow pace," said McLaughlin, who added that he felt Alwajeeha would also benefit from the added distance.

Life Is Sweet, a full sister to the champion Sweet Catomine, beat Alwajeeha in a first-level allowance race at Gulfstream in February. She encountered trouble at the start of the Calder Oaks, where she finished second to Ginger Brew. Life Is Sweet, trained by Bill Mott, will break from post 2 under Kent Desormeaux.