06/25/2003 11:00PM

Ladyecho tries route again


The two worst races of Ladyecho's career came in stakes races beyond one mile. Conversely, Ladyecho has been first or second in six of the seven races she has run at six furlongs or less.

Logic might dictate that trainer John Servis stick to sprints with Ladyecho, but the Philadelphia Park-based trainer said he believes his 3-year-old filly may yet prove capable of going long.

Servis will find out if his hunch is correct when he runs Ladyecho in Saturday's $175,000 Susan's Girl Breeders' Cup Stakes at Delaware Park. The 1 1/16-mile Susan's Girl is the last local prep for the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks, the track's premier event for 3-year-old fillies, on July 19.

Servis said he's optimistic Ladyecho, who breaks from the rail under Oliver Castillo, is primed to go longer after she finished a good second in the one-mile Revidere Stakes at Monmouth Park on May 31. She earned an 87 Beyer Speed Figure for that effort, a number that fits well with the other Susan's Girl contenders.

"She acts like she would go long," said Servis, who won the 2001 Delaware Oaks with Zonk. "The big positive to her last race was that not only did she stretch out and run well, but she also got her career-best Beyer Speed Figure."

As a daughter of Alphabet Soup, who won the 1 1/4-mile Breeders' Cup Classic along with several other graded stakes at 1 1/8 miles, Ladyecho has the pedigree to handle longer distances.

Although she was a close third in the one-mile Blue Hen at Delaware last fall, Ladyecho ended her 2-year-old campaign with a pair of poor efforts in longer races, the Selima at Laurel and the Demoiselle at Aqueduct. Ladyecho came out of the Demoiselle with a respiratory infection and was given some time off.

When Ladyecho returned early this year, she won two minor sprint stakes. "She started running so good I wasn't in any hurry to stretch her out," Servis said.

After Ladyecho rallied belatedly to finish third after an extremely wide trip in the six-furlong Miss Preakness at Pimlico, Servis decided to give her another shot going long.

"She made a nice run, but got hung out real wide to get beat by three lengths," he said. "It just seemed like after that race we should try her long again. Pedigree-wise she should go long with no problem."

Even if Ladyecho adapts to the distance of the Susan's Girl, she will have her hands full with a field that includes Awesome Humor, a three-time graded stakes winner at 2; Hennie's Song, unbeaten in four career starts; and Coquettish, a stakes winner at nine furlongs last year and second to Hennie's Song last time out.

Awesome Humor, the track's morning line favorite at 9-5, was sensational as a 2-year-old, winning all four of her starts, including the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga. Following an 8 1/2-month layoff, Awesome Humor lost for the only time in her career when she finished fourth in an allowance at Churchill Downs. She rebounded strongly in an allowance at Arlington Park earlier this month, earning a 93 Beyer.

Hennie's Song has handled every challenge thrown at her, including winning back-to-back races only 11 days apart. She has had four weeks off since going wire to wire in the 1 1/16-mile Go for Wand.

"She came out of the Go for Wand fabulous," trainer Steve Klesaris said. "I'm just happy she has two races under her belt going two turns. That was the main reason for running her back so quick, so that she could get some seasoning underneath her for these upcoming races that are stronger."

Coquettish is winless in three starts this year, but improved dramatically when she finished only a half-length behind Hennie's Song in the Go for Wand.