06/19/2006 12:00AM

Sabellina last in the stretch, first at the wire


Sabellina broke slowest and trailed to the top of the stretch, rallied along the hedge, altered course through traffic to the outside beneath Javier Castellano, and finished strongly to overtake Finlandia in the final strides of Sunday's $114,700 Mount Vernon Handicap for New York-bred fillies and mares at Belmont Park.

Sabellina, who had won just one of her previous 14 starts, ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48 on firm turf and paid $10.60. She earned $68,820.

"She was up close in too many of her races last year," said winning trainer Joe Aquilino. "She would see daylight and make the lead too soon."

Finlandia held second and Rahy's Appeal third. Elisa's Energy finished 10th as the 5-2 choice after a wide trip.