Updated on 09/18/2011 12:34AM

Love Locket relishes muddy route

Joseph Brown / EQUI-PHOTO
Love Locket ridden by Chris DeCarlo wins the Serena's Song Stakes at Monmouth Park on Saturday.

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Love Locket rallied past a determined Zooming By in deep stretch to the win the $65,000 Serena's Song Stakes for 3-year-old fillies Saturday at Monmouth Park.

Love Locket ($5.40) got up by three-quarters of a length to earn her fourth win in seven career starts for owner Michael Tabor and trainer Todd Pletcher.

The time was 1:41.85 for the mile and 70 yards on a muddy, sealed track.

Everything set up perfectly for Love Locket. After starting her season sprinting in Monmouth's Dearly Precious Stakes, Love Locket returned to a route and won for the fourth time in the five starts she has made at a mile or longer. Her only defeat going long was a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Demoiselle Stakes last November at Aqueduct.

The mud did not hurt, either. She is now unbeaten on two off tracks, having won last year's Blue Hen Stakes in the slop at Delaware Park.

Perhaps most importantly, Love Locket had a target to run at in Zooming By.

Fractious in the paddock, Zooming By shot right to the front and set a quick pace with Love Locket laying fourth through the opening half-mile.

Jockey Chris DeCarlo got Love Locket in gear approaching the quarter pole and she determinedly narrowed the gap, pulling even with the pacesetter at the 70-yard pole.

"When the leader didn't kick away turning for home, I knew we'd reel her in," DeCarlo said. "She won in the slop last year, so I didn't think the track would be a problem at all. She finished up really strong."

Julie B was third, followed by For Kisses, Summer Romance, Pretty Proud, Royal Fupeg, and Saratoga Drive, the 2-1 second choice who was eased in the stretch.

The Serena's Song is the prep for the Grade 3, $200,000 Monmouth Breeders' Cup Oaks on Aug. 13.

* Pretty Imposing was exactly that, romping to an 11-length win over Miss Victory in the off-the-turf Klassy Briefcase Stakes for fillies and mares. Trained by Tony Wilson and ridden by Alan Garcia, Pretty Imposing ($3) ran the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.30.