06/26/2008 11:00PM

Twice-beaten choice Prop Me Up tries again


OCEANPORT, N.J. - Prop Me Up has burned a lot of bettors' cash in her first two starts this season.

But trainer Joe Orseno believes the mare is finally ready to reward her backers Sunday in the $70,000 Lighthouse Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Prop Me Up again figures to be one of the favorites in the a mile-and-70-yard race, which attracted a field of 12 fillies and mares.

Prop Me Up, 6, joined Orseno's barn over the winter in Florida. She made her first start in Gulfstream's Cicada Stakes on April 19, finishing a distant fifth at 8-5.

"When I got her, she had been on a farm in Ocala," Orseno said. "She came to me at Gulfstream about 3 1/2 to 4 weeks before the race, and we just didn't have enough time to get her ready to go a mile and an eighth."

Handicappers forgave and forgot in her next start, the Monmouth Beach Stakes on May 25. Sent off at even money, she took the lead in the lane before finishing third.

"She came here and she ran well," Orseno said. "It looked like she was going to win that day, but For Kisses ran a big race that day and ran her down. She did everything right turning for home, taking the lead. The last sixteenth of a mile, they got to her. Maybe she needed two races."

Orseno expects a positive outcome on Sunday

"I think I have her better going into this one than the first two," he said. "We should see a big effort."

Jose Lezcano, who won a track record-tying six races on a card here last Sunday, picks up the mount.

For Kisses, who pulled off the 8-1 upset in the Monmouth Beach, and the runner-up in that race, Adorable Jane, return for the Lighthouse.

The rider assignments remain the same for both: Carlos Marquez, Jr. rides For Kisses while Keith Carmouche will be on Adorable Jane.

Street Bird makes her first start for trainer Ben Perkins Jr, and her stakes debut.

"She's trained well," Perkins said of the 4-year-old who is 6 for 16. "Facing stakes company is always a bit of change."

Completing the field are All Night Labor, Christmas Kid, Debbie Got Even, Devil House, Exchanging Fire, Seeking an Angel, and Spectacular Malibu.

Talkin About Love was entered in the Lighthouse as a fallback position, in the event that the track comes up wet on Saturday for the $60,000 Spruce Fir Stakes for New Jersey breds. If so, Talkin About Love would scratch out of that race.