05/13/2005 11:00PM

Bank Audit gets up in time

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. pumps his fist after Bank Audit just gets up to beat Sensibly Chic at the wire in the Grade 2 Genuine Risk Handicap at Belmont on Saturday.

ELMONT, N.Y. - After Bank Audit ran a disappointing fifth in the Bed o' Roses Breeders' Cup Handicap last month, her connections were considering giving her a two-month freshening.

But two weeks after that race, trainer Frank Laboccetta called owner Robert Amendola and asked him to devise a Plan B.

"I said, 'This filly is just doing too good; there's no way I could keep her in the barn for six weeks,' " Laboccetta said.

Amendola gave the okay to run in Saturday's $150,000 at Belmont Park, and Bank Audit validated her trainer's confidence with a last-to-first nose victory over Sensibly Chic in the Grade 2 race.

Bank Audit was reunited with Norberto Arroyo Jr., who had won 4 of 5 starts with her from December to March. Richard Migliore had ridden her to victory in the Grade 2 Distaff Breeders' Cup Handicap, but Laboccetta felt he had her too close to the pace in the Bed o' Roses.

On Saturday, Bank Audit was last while Forest Music set scorching fractions of 21.42 seconds and 43.95. Bank Audit got rolling around the turn, but was forced to go extremely wide entering the stretch after running up on the heels of a tiring rival.

Sensibly Chic, who raced close up while three wide, took the lead in midstretch, but Bank Audit was able to run her down on the wire. Bank Audit, a daughter of Wild Rush, covered the six furlongs in 1:09.65 and paid $18.80.

"Going to the quarter pole, she spurted away from me," Arroyo said, referring to his mount, "and the horse in front of me was stopping. I wanted to save ground. If I don't come out of there like that, I would have dropped myself. The last sixteenth of a mile, the other one gave it up, mine just went on."

Though she hadn't been out since October, Friendly Michelle was sent off the 9-5 favorite based on her win in the Grade 1 Prioress here last summer. Friendly Michelle stalked the pace early, but came up empty in the stretch while finishing fifth.

"She never picked it up and gave me that kick that I thought she should have from where I was," said John Velazquez, who rode Friendly Michelle.

Elusive Diva was scratched from the Genuine Risk after spiking a temperature upon arrival from California, trainer Mark Glatt said.

Laboccetta said Bank Audit could be a candidate for the $150,000 Vagrancy Handicap on June 12.