06/19/2003 11:00PM

Switch to dirt could favor Bond duo


ELMONT, N.Y. - Last weekend's turf stakes at Belmont Park, the Hill Prince and Sands Point, were run on the main track, and there is every indication that Sunday's $100,000-added Mount Vernon Handicap, scheduled for turf, will be run on dirt.

There has been no turf racing at Belmont since June 11 because of soggy course conditions. Heavy rain was forecast for the weekend.

Four fillies and mares were entered main-track-only for the Mount Vernon. Ten others drew into the body of the New York-bred race, plus two also-eligibles. If the Mount Vernon is run on dirt, it will be run at its intended distance of 1 1/8 miles.

Stakes winners Along Came Mary and Princess Dixie, both trained by Jim Bond, head a strong group of main-track-only horses. Along Came Mary, who won the Montauk at Aqueduct in December, will carry high weight of 124 pounds if the race is run on dirt. Princess Dixie, the Montauk runner-up, will carry 122 pounds.

Trainer Richard Schosberg, who won a division of the Mount Vernon last year with Eventail, holds a strong hand with his main-track-only horses, Moonlightandbeauty and Burst of Dawn.

Apprentice Pablo Fragoso, who will not have the benefit of his seven-pound weight allowance because it's a stakes, will ride Moonlightandbeauty. Fragoso was aboard Moonlightandbeauty at Belmont for her last two wins, including a 9 1/2-length victory in an open allowance race over a muddy track June 8.

"She has responded beautifully for Pablo and has really stepped it up with him," Schosberg said.

Burst of Dawn won a restricted second-level allowance race by 8 1/2 lengths here on May 29 in her first start since Feb. 6, when she was sidelined with a foot injury.

"A horse stepped on her out of the gate and ripped a huge part of her foot," Schosberg said. "It took a long time to heal that foot up. She's a good filly and is ready to step up."

John Velazquez is named on Burst of Dawn.

Schosberg entered Spectaculaireontop, who hasn't won a race since October 2001, to run on turf only.

There are no standouts among the grass horses. I Met Somebody, the co-highweight at 118 pounds if the race is run on turf, has run well in several races against open company but might be better going shorter.

Wake Up Kiss, who also will tote 118 pounds, is a good fit in this spot, but could need a race since she hasn't run since November.

You'll Be Happy is effective on both the turf and dirt.