07/06/2006 12:00AM

Wildcat Bettie B's versatility the key


ELMONT, N.Y. - Her versatile running style gives Wildcat Bettie B a slight edge in a wildly competitive renewal of Saturday's Grade 1, $250,000 Prioress Stakes at Belmont Park. Five of the nine 3-year-old fillies enter the Prioress off a win, and the four that don't all have at least one race on their form that makes them eligible in here.

comes off a front-running score in the Grade 3 Miss Preakness at Pimlico on May 19. Two starts prior to that, she overcame a slow start to rally from last and beat her stablemate Hello Liberty in a second-level allowance race at Oaklawn Park. Hello Liberty won the Grade 2 Nassau County here in May.

In between, Wildcat Bettie B finished third to Prioress starter Diplomat Lady in the seven-furlong Beaumont at Keeneland. Wildcat Bettie B's trainer, Larry Jones, believes a wide trip, the speed-favoring nature of Keeneland, and the distance compromised her that day.

With in the field, Wildcat Bettie B may be better served by stalking the pace under Mario Pino, who replaces Ramon Dominguez, who is committed to ride Better Talk Now in Saturday's United Nations Stakes at Monmouth.

"If they want to battle for the lead we'll sit wherever we find ourselves,'' Jones said from Delaware Park, where he is based this summer. "If nobody wants the lead, we'll be glad to take it.''

Capote's Crown is 3 for 4 at Belmont and is coming off a perfect-trip victory in the Queen of Song Stakes on June 9. In a four-horse field, Capote's Crown sat off two speed horses before shooting through a hole along the rail turning for home. Kent Desormeaux is named to ride, but he is also named on Relaxed Gesture in the United Nations.

Wild Gams will offer value because she was beaten 26 lengths in the Queen of Song. Coming off a 2 1/2-month layoff, Wild Gams showed uncharacteristic early speed from the rail and backed up after dueling through a half-mile in 44.82 seconds. Trainer Ben Perkins Jr. expects her to revert to her stalking ways on Saturday under Mike Luzzi.

Diplomat Lady cuts back to six furlongs after finishing 13th in the Kentucky Oaks at 1 1/8 miles. Downthedustyroad returns to her preferred distance after running third in the Hollywood Oaks at 1 1/16 miles. Misty Rosette won the Old Hat at Gulfstream, but made a premature move when third in the Forward Gal. Win McCool and Silvestris come off sharp allowance wins. Livermore Valley won a minor stakes at Monmouth.