07/05/2004 12:00AM

La Reason upsets Molly Pitcher

Deja Puglisi/EQUI-PHOTO
La Reason with Chuck C. Lopez riding wins the $300,000 Grade 2 Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup Handicap at Monmouth Park.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Jockey Chuckie Lopez went to the video tape to help La Reason score the upset Sunday afternoon in the Grade 2 $300,000 Molly Pitcher Breeders' Cup Handicap for fillies and mares at Monmouth Park.

La Reason ($47.40) ran the 1 1-8 miles in 1:51.10 over the fast track.

Lopez had never ridden the 4-year-old mare so trainer David Vance provided a tape of her recent races,

"I took it home, had a little coffee and watched the tape," said Lopez. "I learned that she really didn't want to be too close early and that she didn't want to move too soon. I took that little grain of salt and rode my race."

It was a worthwhile video session. Lopez let La Reason settle well off the pace set by Pocus Hocus while saving all the ground on the rail.

Rounding the final turn, La Reason kicked into gear and shot through an inside opening to take dead aim at Pocus Hocus. La Reason surged past the pacesetter with an explosive burst and pulled clear to a three-length win. It was her sixth win in 19 career starts.

"I was really surprised by the kick that she had," said Lopez.

Yell got second over Bare Necessities, the 3-2 favorite, and was found blameless when jockey Jose Valdivia, Jr., claimed foul.

Yell slightly pinched Bare Necessities, Valdivia's mount, on the final turn.

La Reason caught sloppy tracks in her last two races at Churchill Downs, finishing third in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap and fifth in the Grade 2 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap. Those two races discouraged the bettors.

"She had a great trip today," said assistant trainer Patricia Vance. "She wasn't overmatched in her last two."

* Melody of Colors ($10) stalked the pace set by Tangier Sound before rallying to score a two-length win in the $60,000 Betsy Ross Stakes for fillies and mares at five-furlongs on the turf.

Melody of Colors, trained by Tim Hills, stopped the clock in 55.93 seconds with Eibar Coa aboard.

* Clever Louis ($28.00) rallied to beat Theartfuldutchman by three quarters of a length in the $35,938 second leg of the Malouf Auto Group Starter Series.