12/18/2004 1:00AM

Arvada hangs on by a head

Skip Smith
Arvada holds off the late charge of Humaita (9) to win the La Prevoyante by a head.

MIAMI - Trainer Bobby Frankel said Arvada had no excuse in her last start, when she finished third behind the highly regarded Eleusis in the Long Island Handicap at Belmont Park. Saturday at Calder, Arvada needed no excuses after she withstood a late charge from tepid favorite Humaita to post a head victory in the $200,000 .

The Grade 2 La Prevoyante, a 1 1/2-mile turf race for fillies and mares, was one of four stakes on the Grand Slam II program.

As expected, Arvada, a 4-year-old English bred daughter of Hernando, forced the pace from the outset. She eventually seized command from Lenatareese after six furlongs, got a bit of a breather leaving the backstretch and into the stretch, then was fully extended to hold off Humaita.

Humaita, the 5-2 choice in a field of 11, got shuffled back a bit into the clubhouse turn, then finished best of all down the middle of the course to just miss.

Honey Ryder rallied from last to finish another 1 1/2 lengths farther back in third. She was followed by Ocean Silk, Iowa's Image, Lenata-reese, My Dear Lady, Saved-bythelight, Something Ven-tured, Literacy, and Cozie Advantage.

Arvada ($8) was ridden to victory by Edgar Prado and covered the distance in 2:27.19 over a firm course.

The victory was the second for Frankel in the La Prevoyante. He also won the race in 1995 with Interim.

"The plan was to put her on the lead and she rated very kindly today," said assistant trainer Brian Lynch, who saddled Arvada in Frankel's absence.

"Going into the second turn she was eager to go," said Prado, who won two of the four stakes on the card. "When she took the lead she relaxed very well. At the top of the stretch she was very game."

Lynch said Arvada, who also won a division of Saratoga's Grade 3 Glens Falls Handicap in September, will stay in training next season and is likely to race at Gulfstream Park.