06/20/2010 11:00PM

Lost Without You more plus than minus


ELMONT, N.Y. - It may be hard to get psyched about betting a horse who hasn't won in 22 months, has not run in 122 days, and has been a beaten favorite in four of her last eight starts.

But the more one examines the past performances of Lost Without You, the more it becomes difficult not to like her chances in Wednesday's first-level allowance at Belmont Park, a six-furlong turf sprint.

Lost Without You is dropping back into allowance company after running eighth in the Ladies Turf Sprint Stakes at Gulfstream Park -- her only start this year -- in which Starfish Bay set a course record of 53.75 seconds for five furlongs. Starfish Bay has since come back to win two more stakes. West Ocean, runner-up to Starfish Bay in the Lades and a filly who beat Lost Without You in this condition last October at Belmont, has won two straight stakes.

Meanwhile, Lost Without You has been having trouble getting back to the races. First, she came out of the Ladies Turf Sprint a little foot-sore. Second, there was a licensing issue when one of the partners in Happy Hill Farm, owners of the mare, died. Third, races in which trainer Peter Pugh was entering Lost Without You weren't filling.

Pugh said the key to Lost Without You's success is having the jockey properly time the mare's three-sixteenths of a mile run. Channing Hill, who has two wins, a second, and a third in his last four rides on Lost Without You, has the call on Wednesday.

"She's a little difficult to ride," Pugh said. "If you move on her too soon she flattens out."

Ready to Sing, who won a maiden race at Delaware Park by 7 1/2 lengths on May 24, will try turf for the first time in this spot. Ready to Sing is a daughter of More Than Ready out of the Red Ransom mare Red Sonnet, which has trainer Michael Stidham believing "it would be strange if she didn't handle the grass."

In a Feb. 20 maiden race at Fair Grounds, Ready to Sing was beaten a nose by Champagne d'Oro, who has since won the Grade 1 Acorn. Stidham said Ready to Sing went two months between starts because she didn't train well over Keeneland's synthetic surface in April and he waited until the Churchill meet to run her.

Atrea will try to bounce back after being distanced as the 3-1 favorite in a spot like this at Keeneland.