10/23/2009 11:00PM

Ticonderoga looks like a tough battle

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
You Go West Girl defeats Chestoria in the John Hettinger. They are rematched on Sunday.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Only a neck, and a bit of racing luck, separated You Go West Girl and Chestoria in the John Hettinger Stakes at Belmont Park last month.

You Go West Girl got a perfect ground-saving ride from Jose Lezcano, angling off the fence in midstretch to secure the victory, while Chestoria went wide, uncorking a strong move that fell short.

The rematch comes Sunday in the $150,000 Ticonderoga Stakes for New York-bred fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on the turf at Belmont. The Ticonderoga was delayed one day to avoid rain that was forecast for Saturday.

The race, if it stays on the grass, should be another hotly competitive affair, as the field also includes Nehantic Kat, who beat both You Go West Girl and Chestoria over soft turf at Saratoga in the Yaddo Handicap.

Billy Badgett, Chestoria's trainer, hopes to turn the tables this time.

"I think we could have won the last race with a little better trip," Badgett said. "I thought we were back a little too far early and then we went way too wide."

Meanwhile You Go West Girl was cruising along.

"There wasn't a pebble in her path," Badgett said. "Sometimes in that position you get blocked or steadied, but she got through and got the jump on us."

After the Hettinger, trainer Tom Proctor took You Go West Girl back to Kentucky to train on the synthetic track at Keeneland. She has had three breezes over the Polytrack.

"She's on a good curve right now," Proctor said. "Sometimes horses go up and down earlier in the year, and as you go along, maybe they get better. That's kind of what's happened with her. We're looking for her to run good again."

And he is hoping for another good trip with Lezcano back aboard.

"There are three, four, or five fillies in New York that are pretty close," Proctor said. "Whoever gets the best trip, or is doing the best at that point, or who likes the kind of ground they are running over that day. She has probably run as consistent as any of them, but it's not like she's dominated. But she's sure got a chance every time they load them up."