05/26/2004 12:00AM

Frenchglen is Jersey Girl victor


Frenchglen repelled an early pace challenge from Lovethatleg-end, then held off the late-running Why You to win Wednesday's $59,400 Jersey Girl Stakes by a neck before 3,100 at Belmont Park.

Frenchglen was one of four winners on the card for jockey John Velazquez, who had only five mounts on the nine-race card.

Frenchglen, a daughter of Forestry, dueled inside of Lovethatlegend through a half-mile run in 45.24 seconds. After opening up turning for home, Frenchglen held on as Why You, who had been last early, rallied strongly along the rail under Jorge Chavez. Frenchglen, trained by Todd Pletcher and owned by Aaron and Marie Jones, covered the six furlongs in 1:10.44 over a fast track and returned $3.40 as the odds-on favorite.

Lovethatlegend finished third, followed by Pacific Island and Cherry's Hunter. Stoic and Highgate Park were scratched.

It was somewhat fitting that Pletcher won the Jersey Girl Stakes. Jersey Girl was the first stakes winner Pletcher trained when he went out on his own in 1996.