02/01/2007 1:00AM

Mouton finds key to Follow the Lite


NEW ORLEANS - Follow the Lite has been a terrific claim for trainer Patrick Mouton, and on Saturday she'll attempt to win her second stakes of the Fair Grounds meet for him in the $75,000 Pan Zareta Breeders' Cup, a sprint for older fillies and mares.

The well-matched field of nine includes several accomplished rivals, including graded-stakes-placed runners Annika Lass and Hatpin and multiple stakes winner Mykindasaint.

Follow the Lite was claimed by Mouton for $50,000 out of an optional claiming race last October at Lousiana Downs. She has since won the the $73,000 Esplanade Stakes here Dec. 22 and finished second in the $100,000 Leggio Memorial and an optional claiming race.

A 5-year-old daughter of Lite the Fuse, Follow the Lite has responded to a change in tactics by Mouton since she finished second after leading in her first start for him.

"She had been running too close to the pace, so I decided to have [Elvis Perrodin] take her outside of horses and make a late run," said Mouton.

Fortunately he had claimed a filly who was tractable enough to switch running styles easily.

"She was so responsive [Perrodin] could have placed her anywhere he wanted," said Mouton.

Follow the Lite won the 5 1/2-furlong Esplanade using the new tactics and finished well for second behind runaway winner Smitty's Sunshine after a wide trip on the turf in the Leggio Memorial. Now she's back on the dirt at six furlongs, a distance that should be to her liking.

The uncoupled Steve Asmussen-trained entry of Annika Lass and Wild as Elle could pose the biggest threat to Follow the Lite. The

6-year-old Annika Lass, a stakes winner earlier in her career, did not win in eight starts last year but hit the board four times in graded stakes, including a second-place finish in a Grade 2 Gallant Bloom at Belmont Park. She has been working well at Sam Houston.

Wild as Elle, 5, has more modest credentials but excels (2 for 2) in off going and is coming off a win over the track.

Hatpin showed little in the Leggio, but it was only her second start since December 2005, and she turned in a bullet six-furlong work for trainer Mark Frostad last week. A 5-year-old Smart Strike mare, she should be tighter this time out.

Mykindasaint beat Follow the Lite in November, then finished third after leading in the Esplanade and ran poorly in the Leggio, her first start on turf. She should be arguing the pace here along with Ada's Dream, who has won two straight over the track, Wild Elle and Hatpin.