09/24/2010 2:57PM

Time and the place is right for You Go West Girl

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
You Go West Girl is 3 for 4 at Belmont's fall meet, including last year's Ticonderoga in October.

ELMONT, N.Y. – When it comes to Belmont Park, You Go West Girl is not only a horse for course she is a horse for the season.

You Go West Girl has won 3 of 6 starts at Belmont, but she is 3 for 4 during Belmont’s fall meet. Trainer Tom Proctor and owner Craig Bernick hope You Go West Girl’s affinity for Belmont and cooler weather continues Sunday when she heads a seven-horse field entered in the $100,000 John Hettinger Stakes for New York-bred females going 1 1/8 miles over Belmont’s inner turf.

Despite being the richest race on the 10-race program, the Hettinger was carded as the first race on the program. The $70,000 Nellie Bly Stakes for fillies and mares on dirt drew a field of eight and is carded as the ninth.

For the third straight year, You Go West Girl comes to Belmont after a frustrating summer at Saratoga. In 2008, You Go West Girl lost two stakes at the Spa, but came to Belmont to win the Hey Baba Lulu Stakes. She would then finish second in the Ticonderoga on New York Showcase Day.

Last year, You Go West Girl again lost at Saratoga before coming to Belmont and winning the Hettinger and Ticonderoga. This year, You Go West Girl suffered narrow defeats in two stakes at Saratoga. Proctor said that You Go West Girl simply prefers the wider turns of the more expansive Belmont turf course.

“She probably doesn’t do the turns real well,” Proctor said. “It’s a tricky course up in Saratoga, especially the inside course. It kills almost anybody that comes from behind.”

The only thing that may compromise You Go West Girl is the apparent lack of speed in Sunday’s race. Exclusive Scheme won the William Fasig Stakes at Saratoga in front-running fashion. Trainer Billy Badgett said he believes Akilina or Luna Charm could show speed.

“She could easily be back if there is pace in the race,” Badgett said of Exclusive Scheme. “She is training awful good right now.”

Akilina has not been out since July 31 in part due to some issues with sore feet, trainer Christophe Clement said. Clement expects his filly to come from off the pace.

Paraiba is a two-time winner at Belmont and was compromised by a speed-favoring Saratoga course when seventh in the Yaddo. She is trained by David Donk, who won last week’s Grade 3 Noble Damsel with Strike the Bell, another filly who was compromised at Saratoga.

Frivolous Buck and Great Gracie Dane are off-the-pace threats.