07/19/2006 11:00PM

Love Locket back in a route

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Bill Denver / Equi-Photos
Joey P., winless outside of New Jersey but 8 for 10 at Monmouth, is bound for the Teddy Drone.

OCEANPORT, N.J - Love Locket should be sharper and fitter than she was in her 2006 debut for Saturday's $65,000 Serena's Song Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Monmouth Park.

The Serena's Song is the mile and 70-yard prep for Monmouth's Grade 3, $200,000 Monmouth Breeders' Cup Oaks on Aug. 13, and , trained by Todd Pletcher, seems right on target for that goal.

She has made one start this season, a fourth-place finish in Monmouth's Dearly Precious Stakes on June 17. The race was at six furlongs, and that's not Love Locket's game.

She needs at least a mile. Love Locket is 3 for 4 in races a mile or longer, including victories last fall at Delaware Park in the Irish Sonnet and Blue Hen Stakes.

"She ran the one time here sprinting to get one underneath her," said Anthony Sciametta, a Pletcher assistant. "She's definitely better going long. She came out of that race good. She's been training well. Hopefully, it sets up for a big race."

Love Locket has worked here the last three Sundays in preparation for the Serena's Song, the last two identical 1:02 breezes at five furlongs.

Like Love Locket, Saratoga Drive and For Kisses competed in stakes last time out.

faced classy company in her last two outings, the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland and Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico. For Kisses tried turf for the first time in Monmouth's Grade 3 Boiling Springs Stakes and ran fourth at 25-1. She would love a fast main track, where she is undefeated in three races at one mile.

Pretty Imposing trying grass again

A recent turf workout convinced trainer Tony Wilson that Pretty Imposing could handle the grass. While she has not hit the board in three previous grass races, Pretty Imposing will take another shot Saturday in the $55,000 Klassy Briefcase Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs.

Pretty Imposing was a game second last time out, beaten three-quarters of a length here on dirt in the Candy Eclair Stakes on July 4. Before the Candy Eclair, Pretty Imposing worked five furlongs from the gate on Monmouth's brand-new turf course.

"We breezed her on the new turf course, and she breezed very well," Wilson said. "She breezed with four other horses, and she went right by. She caught up to them instead of going to the lead like she usually does. She paced herself a little bit."

Wilson has maintained a hot pace here in his first season as the trainer for owners Pat and Frank Generazio.

Wilson, who started on the Monmouth backstretch in 1975, has been an assistant to Whitey Mackowski, John Tammaro III, and Benny Perkins Jr. In his first meet as head man, Wilson was 10 for 28 through Thursday.

"I'm still learning this," Wilson said. "Hopefully I'll get it all straightened out by the end of the meet."

A third stakes scheduled for Saturday, the Majestic Light at 1 5/8 miles, did not fill and will not be rescheduled.

Joey P. back at home sweet home

Joey P. was a long way from the friendly confines of Monmouth Park when he finished sixth Saturday in the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder. It was only his second start outside New Jersey, and neither was successful. The popular New Jersey-bred gelding ran seventh in the Grade 3 Sport Page Handicap last fall at Belmont Park.

In the Smile, Joey P. unexpectedly wound up on the lead against the toughest field he had ever faced.

"I thought he ran well, for the first time against that quality of horse," Perkins said. "He broke sharp, and there looked like there was enough speed to go on, but it never materialized, so he got kind of left out there on his own."

Joey P. seemed to take the race, and the tropical Florida heat, in stride.

"He came back fine," said Perkins. "They had nice wide-open barns. He handled the whole thing really well."

Joey P., with a record of 8-0-1 in 10 starts here, will now be pointed to the $100,000 Teddy Drone Stakes on Aug. 6.