05/23/2002 11:00PM

I'm All Yours all set for Kingston


ELMONT, N.Y. - I'm All Yours, the champion New York-bred male turf horse of 2001, begins defense of his title Sunday when he heads an overflow field entered in the $75,000 Kingston Handicap at Belmont. A field of 14 was entered for the nine-furlong turf race, but the race will be limited to 10 starters.

I'm All Yours, a 5-year-old gelded son of Belong to Me, has won his last five starts in New York-bred company, including last year's West Point and Mohawk handicaps. Jerry Bailey, aboard for both of those wins, has the return call on I'm All Yours, who will break from post 5 under high weight of 124 pounds, conceding 7 to 12 pounds to the rest of the field.

I'm All Yours often gives his connections and backers anxious moments as he comes from well off the pace.

"A couple of those races last year, at the eighth pole he had a lot of work to do," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "But he kicks in pretty hard the last part."

The Kingston is the second start of the year for I'm All Yours. He ran in the Grade 3 Fort Marcy Handicap at Aqueduct where he finished sixth, beaten 3 3/4 lengths by Pyrus.

"I thought he performed very well and it served its purpose in terms of getting some conditioning for this race," Pletcher said.

While I'm All Yours has defeated most of these in the past, he faces Whitmore's Conn for the first time. A winner of 2 of 12 starts a year ago, Whitmore's Conn has already matched that win total this year, winning open company allowance races at Gulfstream Park and Aqueduct. And, he's done it by running closer to the pace than he has in the past.

"He seems like a different horse," trainer Randy Schulhofer said. "This year, he's closer to the lead and wants to run from the start. Maybe he grew up. I like the change."

Edgar Prado has the return call from post 9 at 121 pounds.

Celtic Sky is a late-running colt with a chance. A lightly raced son of Sky Classic, Celtic Sky makes his first start since last December when he finished third in an open company allowance race. He has not finished worse than third in six tries in New York-bred company on turf, and was beaten only 1 3/4 lengths by I'm All Yours in last year's Mohawk.

Should forecasted thunderstorms force the Kingston to the main track, Personal Pro becomes the one to beat. Personal Pro won the Albany Handicap last summer at Saratoga.

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