10/03/2002 11:00PM

Autumn Leaves saved


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Bay Meadows planned to run two stakes Sunday, the Time to Leave Stakes and the Autumn Leaves Handicap.

Only the Autumn Leaves, a $60,000-added race for fillies and mares, will be run.

Only five 2-year-old fillies entered the one-mile Time to Leave, and one was on the vet's list, forcing a postponement of the race. Bay Meadows officials hope to run it next Sunday.

The Autumn Leaves was in a similar position when originally scheduled on Sept. 7. It did not draw enough entries, but racing secretary Greg Brent brought it back Sunday, and it filled.

All seven of the nominees for the Autumn Leaves entered. Four come into the race off victories.

Aunt Sophie won at a mile on the turf in her northern California debut on Sept. 15. Bullish Miss, who will try one mile for the first time, won an allowance sprint on Sept. 19. Marty's Zee, trying two turns for the first time in two years, won a one-mile allowance race on opening day Aug. 30. My First Lady will make her first start since winning the May 5 Santa Clara Handicap.

De Goddaughter and Miss Terasita, one-two in the Luther Burbank on July 28 at Santa Rosa, and Crown of Creation round out the field.

Sunday's postponement of the Time to Leave was a disappointment for Bennie LaFever, who owns the undefeated Tale of a Dream.

"Everything happens for a reason," LaFever said.

Tale of a Dream was spotted online at a Kentucky yearling sale by Wink McDaniel of Golden State Stable, who bought her with the intention of pinhooking her. He and LaFever put her in a summer sale at Pleasanton but bought her back when she didn't meet their reserve price of $32,000.

They and trainer Bret Layne are happy things worked out as they did.

Tale of a Dream is 2 for 2 after unleashing a strong kick in the lane to defeat odds-on favorite Global Finance in the Sept. 15 Courtship Stakes. That win made her the first stakes-winning daughter of Tale of the Cat.