11/08/2003 12:00AM

Another Nafzger upset special

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Four-Footed Fotos
Lead Story comes from last place to give trainer Carl Nafzger his second straight Churchill Downs Distaff. Last year, Nafzger won with 22-1 Softly.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Lead Story was up in the final yards Saturday to give trainer Carl Nafzger his second straight upset in the $225,400 .

Ridden by Calvin Borel, who escaped injury in a spill Thursday at Churchill, Lead Story returned $73.60 to win after surging past Awesome Humor for a half-length victory in the Grade 2 Churchill Distaff.

"That's the ups and downs of this game," said Borel.

One year after Nafzger sent out Softly to a 22-1 upset in the CD Distaff, 10 fillies and mares started Saturday in 18th running of the one-mile race. Yell, an impressive winner of the Grade 3 Raven Run at Keeneland last month for Claiborne Farm, was sent away the 4-5 favorite with Pat Day aboard, but she was never a serious factor and finished sixth, beaten 6 3/4 lengths by Lead Story.

"No horse today," Day said.

Over a fast track and amid clear but chilly weather, the early pace was set by 21-1 shot Born to Dance, while Meteor Miracle and Awesome Humor raced closest to her. Leaving the quarter pole, Awesome Humor took a short lead, but then Lead Story, having trailed early, angled out for her winning drive. She finished in 1:36.55.

Lead Story, owned by retired Louisville banker A. Stevens Miles Jr., now has won 6 of 28 career starts. A 4-year-old filly by Editor's Note, she had lost her four previous starts, dating to a come-from-behind victory in the HBPA Handicap at Ellis Park in July. Her career earnings are just shy of $400,000.

Awesome Humor, the 7-2 second choice, ran well, said her jockey, Larry Melancon.

"We were where we were supposed to be," said Melancon. "I thought my filly ran a real big race."

Born to Dance, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, finished third to complete a $2 trifecta worth $4,299.40. The $2 exacta paid $394.

Dell Hancock, whose family bred and co-owns Yell, said the filly will be sent to South Carolina for a break before embarking on her 4-year-old campaign in Florida.

* The Churchill stewards said they would review the running of the seventh race Saturday with jockey Craig Perret, who won the $50,000 allowance race by a nose aboard even-money favorite Halory Leigh, a 3-year-old filly trained by Dale Romans. Perret appeared to ease up on his mount in the final yards as longshot Tamarack Bay barely missed catching her.