07/20/2004 11:00PM

Spotlight picks up Bailey


ELMONT, N.Y. - After experiencing mostly frustration during the Belmont spring-summer meet, things have begun to turn for trainer Christophe Clement, who has won four races in the last eight cards.

The good times should continue for Clement on Friday when he sends out European import in the $48,000 feature, a second-level allowance race on the turf.

Spotlight, a 3-year-old daughter of Dr Fong, is winless in three starts this year, but she ended her 2-year-old season with a notable listed stakes win at Newmarket. She won the race by four lengths, beating Ouija Board, who is 3 for 3 this year, including wins in the Epsom and Irish Oaks.

Spotlight finished last in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 2 and was beaten a neck when dropped in class in a minor stakes event at Goodwood. She has been in this country a little over a month and has trained well, according to Clement.

"The feedback was she was very nice, but she was very anxious in Europe," said Clement, who has named Jerry Bailey to ride.

Rather than wait for the Saratoga meet, Clement said, "I figured I'd run her at Belmont first time out, because it's easier mentally I think than up north."

Spotlight is coupled with Music Way, who is cross-entered in a similar spot at Monmouth Park on Friday and is likely to run there.

Bailey gets off Juliette to ride Spotlight. Juliette is winless in three starts for trainer Bobby Frankel including a dull third-place finish in this condition on May 26. Frankel adds blinkers to Juliette's equipment and has named Edgar Prado to ride. Frankel also entered La Minuta in case the race is rained off to the main track.

Finery could be a value play on either surface. After running first or second in her first four starts last year, Finery was sidelined due to a chip in her knee. She returned to the races on July 4 and finished fourth, beaten only 3 1/4 lengths in a swiftly run second-level allowance on turf.

"I was pleased with it," trainer Billy Turner. "For the first time ever going long she did everything right; she was right there. I was encouraged. If she proves that she wants to go long, she should go a little bit better this time."

Indy Charmer comes off a win in an entry-level allowance win on this course in June. Honor Point, a daughter of Honor Grades, makes her turf debut for trainer Allen Jerkens, who is also considering this filly for Saturday's Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks.

Get Set and Orkan round out the field.