09/24/2004 11:00PM

Ocean Drive overcomes

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Ocean Drive wins Saturday's Noble Damsel despite a wide trip and having to carry high weight of 120 pounds.

ELMONT, N.Y. - The trip was far different than the one she had a month ago, but the result was the same for the ultra-consistent Ocean Drive.

Ocean Drive barely left the hedge when she won the Grade 3 Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup at Saratoga last month. Saturday, Ocean Drive had to overcome an extremely wide trip, but was still good enough to win the Grade 3, $150,000 by 1 1/4 lengths at Belmont Park.

High Court rallied from well off the pace to get second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Hour of Justice. Changing World, Finery, Yell, Personal Legend, Dedication, and Coney Kitty completed the order of finish.

It was the eighth stakes victory and ninth win overall from 19 career starts for Ocean Drive, a 4-year-old daughter of Belong to Me. She has now earned $781,986 for owners Sy and Bonnie Baskin.

Under John Velazquez, Ocean Drive broke from the outside post in the nine-horse field and raced four wide down the backstretch while in the second tier of horses. Finery and Hour of Justice dueled through a half-mile in 47.70 seconds.

Velazquez, who won four races on Saturday's card, said he wanted to angle to the inside entering the far turn, but two horses inside of him were forcing him to stay outside.

"I decided, 'Okay, let me just sit against her and let her make that run from the three-sixteenth pole home,' " said Velazquez, who won this race for the fifth time. "When I made her switch [leads] and I kicked her she responded right away."

Ocean Drive, who carried high weight of 120 pounds, covered the mile in 1:34.71 over firm turf.

She returned $7.50 as the slight 5-2 favorite over Hour of Justice.

"She was carrying top weight, and the outside post can be tough going a mile on the turf here," said trainer Todd Pletcher. "She's just so good right now that she was able to overcome those things."

Pletcher said he would look at the Grade 3, $200,000 Violet Handicap at The Meadowlands on Oct. 22 for Ocean Drive's next start.

- Provincetown went gate to wire under Tony Farina to win the $111,700 Ashley T. Cole Handicap by 1 3/4 lengths. Certifiably Crazy finished second, a nose ahead of Irish Colonial.

Provincetown returned $5.70, but only because he was coupled in the wagering with Golden Commander, who finished seventh. Patrick Biancone trains Provincetown, who covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:46.43.