05/15/2009 11:00PM

I Lost My Choo tops loaded stakes


ELMONT, N.Y. - An overflow field of 16 New York-bred fillies and mares stuffed the entry box for Sunday's $100,000 Mount Vernon Stakes.

All the major players got into the main body of 10 for the Mount Vernon's 31st running, which is scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the Widener course.

The field includes the one-two-three finishers from last fall's Ticonderoga, Love Cove, You Go West Girl, and Nehantic Kat; multiple turf stakes winner Chestoria; and probable pacesetter Cagey Girl, who wired the Mollie Wilmott Stakes at Saratoga last summer.

But the one to beat is I Lost My Choo, a Flying Zee Stable homebred who rallied four wide and unleashed a powerful stretch run to win Gulfstream Park's Grade 3 Honey Fox in her first start of the year for trainer Phil Serpe.

On the strength of that performance, which earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 99, I Lost My Choo was dispatched as third choice in the Grade 2 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland against returning champion Forever Together.

For some reason, however, I Lost My Choo loses her cool at Keeneland. As a 3-year-old there, she missed in a three-way photo in the Appalachian after being rank through the early stages. In the Jenny Wiley, she uncharacteristically bounded out to a clear lead from the inside post and wound up pressing the pace in tight quarters on the rail before fading in the lane.

"The soft turf was probably not to her liking," Serpe said. "They had it listed as good, but those were good fillies and they went six furlongs in 1:17. There were tremendous rainstorms the night before, and I don't think it was any better than soft. Being on the front end didn't help, either."

Showers and scattered thunderstorms are in the Long Island forecast through the weekend.

"We need to squeeze out 48 more hours," Serpe said.

Yet Again, Borrowing Base, and My Dinah, stakes winners on dirt at Aqueduct's six-month session, also entered.

If the Mount Vernon is rained off, standing at the ready are main-track-only entrants Raffie's Treasure, who won a sloppy N.Y. Stallion route by nearly 10 lengths last summer; Sapphire Sky, 3 for 3 on sealed wet tracks; and Point Me to It, second in a sloppy renewal of the Montauk last fall.