09/21/2003 11:00PM

Where We Left Off is on deck


ELMONT, N.Y. - It will soon be time for trainer Christophe Clement to bid farewell to some of his talented turf mares, who will most likely be headed to the breeding shed at year's end. He hopes Where We Left Off will be a well-named replacement for the likes of Voodoo Dancer and Dress to Thrill.

Where We Left Off will seek her third consecutive victory Wednesday at Belmont Park in the $65,000 Starine Stakes for 3-year-old fillies who have never won a stakes race. Ten fillies were entered for the one-mile turf race, while Fast Cookie was entered for the main track only.

Where We Left Off is a daughter of the Group 1-winning sire Dr Devious. After finishing fourth in her debut at Belmont on June 26, Where We Left Off came back with a maiden win and an entry-level allowance score at Saratoga. Clement said a tardy start in her debut cost her the June 26 race.

"A mile in New York, if you break too slow, you're dead," Clement said. "But she's been very consistent and she's a nice little filly."

Where We Left Off will have to overcome the outside post, but has Edgar Prado in the irons. Prado guided Wonder Again to victory from post 11 in Saturday's Noble Damsel Stakes.

There are a number of intriguing challengers in this race, beginning with Changing World, who looked very good winning an entry-level allowance race at Saratoga in her second start for trainer Barclay Tagg. Changing World is out of the Cozzene dam Reach the Top, who is a full sister to the multiple graded stakes winner Grab the Green.

Betty's Wish has yet to try the turf, but she is coming off two solid allowance wins on the dirt. She toyed with a weak second-level allowance group here on opening day, and if she's able to transfer that effort to the turf, she would be the one to beat.

Rhumb Line and Belong to Sea are also trying turf for the first time. Rhumb Line won her first three career starts, including an off-the-turf allowance race on June 12. But she was soundly defeated in both the Mother Goose and Pennsylvania Oaks. Rhumb Line, trained by Frank Alexander, has attracted Jerry Bailey to ride.

Belong to Sea won the Grade 3 Miss Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in May, but has run into problems since. She finished sixth in the Grade 1 Prioress and then tired badly in a seven-furlong allowance race at Saratoga on Sept. 1. She does show a bullet turf work at Saratoga in July.