Ocean Drive Faces Six in Violet Handicap

Ocean Drive, a four-time grade III winner for trainer Todd Pletcher, heads a field of seven fillies and mares assembled for Friday night in the $200,000 Violet Handicap (gr. IIIT) at the Meadowlands.

The Violet, named for the New Jersey state flower, is for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

Enjoying a banner year, Ocean Drive, a 4-year-old Belong to Me filly, is coming off 1 1/4-length triumph over Violet contender High Court in the one-mile Noble Damsel Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park Sept. 25. She previously won the Aug. 30 Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Saratoga and has recorded a 4-3-2 record in nine 2004 starts for owners Sy and Bonnie Baskin while banking $483,900.

Regular pilot John Velazquez rides Ocean Drive, who carries high weight of 121 pounds and is the 2-1 morning line favorite.

The Christophe Clement-trained Where We Left Off, second to Humaita by a half-length in a division of the Glens Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Saratoga Sept. 5 in her last start, breaks from the inside with Joe Bravo aboard. She won the Matchmaker Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park in August. Where We Left Off is 5-2 on the morning line while carrying three pounds less than the favorite.

Barclay Tagg trains the Florida-bred Changing World, 6-1 on the morning line.

Fast Cookie won a division of the De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga in August for trainer Bill Mott. She ran third behind Ocean Drive in the Eatontown Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth a month earlier.

$200,000 Violet Handicap (gr. IIIT), fillies & mares 3 & up, 1 1/16 mile (turf)
1. Where We Left Off, Christophe Clement, Joe Bravo, 118, 5-2
2. Caught in the Rain, Guadalupe Preciado, Victor Molina, 116, 8-1
3. Fast Cookie, Bill Mott, Cornelio Velasquez, 118, 6-1
4. Ocean Drive, Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez, 121, 2-1
5. Smart N Classy, John Tammaro III, Jose Velez Jr., 111, 20-1
6. Changing World, Barclay Tagg, Javier Castellano, 113, 5-1
7. High Court, Michael Matz, Richard Migliore, 117, 4-1