09/28/2006 12:00AM

Lemon Drop Gal a new filly on turf

Email

ELMONT, N.Y. - Out of desperation, trainer Jimmy Jerkens switched Lemon Drop Gal to the turf in June.

The 4-year-old filly perked up noticeably, winning 2 of 3 and scoring her first stakes win last time out in the Grab the Green Stakes at Saratoga.

Lemon Drop Gal bids for another stakes win Saturday in the $65,000 License Fee Stakes for fillies and mares at six furlongs.

"It looked like we were in trouble with her," Jerkens said. "It looked like we would have to run her for a tag. She had a lot of trouble with her feet, with quarter cracks. Just out of desperation, we tried it and she really took to it."

The License Fee, a supporting stakes for the Grade 2 Kelso, drew 11 entrants in the body of the field. Toll Taker was entered for the main track only.

Lemon Drop Gal drew the outside with Javier Castellano aboard.

Lemon Drop Gal's grass record might be even more impressive if not for a rough trip in Belmont's Elizabeth Bay Stakes on June 30. Lemon Drop Gal was bothered repeatedly and moved up from third to second on Gilded Gold's disqualification.

"She would have been right there," Jerkens said. "She got into a lot of trouble in midstretch."

Jerkens expects another solid effort Saturday.

"She looks to be doing the same, from what I can tell," he said.

Jerkens's dad, Hall of Famer Allen Jerkens, also has a runner in the License Fee: Any Limit, a 3-year-old making her turf debut.

No Sleep back sooner than expected

When owner Maggi Moss and trainer Gary Contessa sold No Sleep to Glencrest Farm, they were under the impression that the multiple-stakes-winning filly had an injured tendon and was going to become a broodmare. Brothers David and Johnny Greathouse, two of the proprietors of Glencrest Farm, were prepared to give No Sleep the several months she would need to get over the tendon injury and bring her back next year as a racehorse.

But when a second ultrasound did not show any tendon tear, No Sleep was turned over to Bruce Levine and she has returned to training earlier than anticipated. No Sleep has already breezed twice and may make it back to the races by the first weekend of November. The Greathouse brothers have also entered No Sleep in the horses of all ages sale at Keeneland on Nov. 5.

"We re-ultrasounded her and couldn't find the tear," Levine said. "I've gone on and trained her and, knock wood, she's been going good. I'm lucky to have her."

Prior to being sold, No Sleep was coming off back-to-back stakes wins in the Fort Monmouth and Iowa Distaff Breeders' Cup.

Levine said he may point No Sleep to the $60,000 Honey Bee Handicap at the Meadowlands on Nov. 4, the night before the sale.

Contessa said he has no regrets about the sale, noting that he claimed No Sleep for $25,000 and made more than $200,000 with her on the track and another estimated $200,000 on the sale.

"We made a ton of money with her and we sold her, and now it's Bruce's turn to shine with her," Contessa said. "Broodmare or racehorse, it really didn't matter."

Phyllis Sassy Girl rallies for upset

Phyllis Sassy Girl rallied past odds-on favorite Grecian Lover Thursday to win the $68,500 Number Account Stakes by three-quarters of a length.

The one-mile race was restricted to fillies and mares who had not won an open stakes.

Grecian Lover, bet down to 7-10 after competing in the Grade 1 Ballerina Breeders' Cup Stakes at Saratoga, took the lead at the top of the stretch but could not hold off Phyllis Sassy Girl ($11.80), a 4-year-old trained by Steve Klesaris who improved her career mark to 5 for 12.

The time was 1:37.09 on the fast track. Edgar Prado was aboard for his third winner of the afternoon.

* John Velazquez, still bothered by a heel injury, took off his mounts Thursday.

* Fernando Jara, dumped by Kulia leaving the gate in Thursday's fourth race, was sent to North Shore Medical Center for X-rays of his right hand.

- additional reporting by David Grening