06/13/2006 11:00PM

Mott finds 'Sweet' spot

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ELMONT, N.Y. - In need of a confidence boost, takes a drop in class Friday when she meets five rivals in the $65,000 A Wild Ride Stakes at Belmont Park. Friday marks the return of sunset racing to Belmont, where each of the last six Friday cards of the meet will begin at 3 p.m.

As a 3-year-old last year Sweet Symphony won her first four starts, including the Grade 1 Alabama in August at Saratoga. When she faced her elders, however, Sweet Symphony finished fourth in the Beldame and ninth in the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

Sweet Symphony began the year on an encouraging note by finishing second to Oonagh Maccool in the Rampart Handicap at Gulfstream. Nevertheless, she finished 15 lengths behind that same rival in the Grade 2 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap on May 5.

"It was a bit bewildering to me," trainer Bill Mott said. "Didn't expect that. Of course now it's at that point where I don't know what to expect. Her last two works have been pretty good. . . . If she runs back to those works I'd feel fairly good about it. Then again, when they start throwing clunkers in on you, you just never know."

Mott did enter Sweet Symphony in Saturday's Obeah Handicap at Delaware Park and was considering the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps to be run here on Saturday. But he paid a $200 supplemental nomination to run in the A Wild Ride, which is at one mile.

"Before I put her with the big girls again I'm waiting for some good sign in the afternoon," Mott said.

Garrett Gomez will ride Sweet Symphony from post 5.

There seems to be ample pace in the A Wild Ride to set up Sweet Symphony's late run. Cherry Bomb, who won an allowance race at Keeneland in her last start, and Judy Soda, who has not run since winning the Saratoga Dew last September at Saratoga, figure to vie for the early lead.

Classy Charm, whose last win came in a one-mile overnight stakes race at Belmont last fall, looks like the main challenger to Sweet Symphony.