09/16/2002 12:00AM

Beaux Artes on upswing for Lage

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - Since returning from a brief freshener, Beaux Artes has run the two best races of her life.

Trainer Armando Lage hopes the trend continues in Wednesday's feature race at Bay Meadows, a one-mile allowance race for fillies and mares.

Lage said it has taken him time to understand the 3-year-old filly Beaux Artes, who he says is moody and has to be happy to run her best.

"She's not a horse you can schedule," he said. "Every morning, you have to see how she feels and then you decide if you're going to pony her or gallop her.

"If she's feeling good, you can go out and work her."

In her first six starts, Beaux Artes's best race was a third-place finish. Lage decided to give her a freshener in June. She returned on Aug. 10, winning at one mile on the turf. She was beaten a head in her first race against winners on Sept. 1. That was also a turf race, but Lage moves her back to the main track for the first time in five starts Wednesday.

This will be her first race on a fast track, and Lage said she has worked well on the main track despite a pair of slow works in her last two drills.

Lage is confident that Beaux Artes will respond with a good race, given the large doses of T.L.C. he gives her.

"When she runs, she will run hard for you," he said.

Lage has a second entrant in the field of eight.

Wall Street Rally is making her first start for him after three races in New Mexico earlier this year. She missed by a neck in a sprint at Albuquerque, and then was beaten by 9 1/2 lengths in another six-furlong sprint and by 24 3/4 in a one-mile stakes race at Ruidoso Downs on June 30.

If Lage has Beaux Artes figured out, he's trying to learn about Wall Street Rally.

"It's the first time she's run for me," he said. "She eats well but doesn't put on weight. Her blood count is okay."

Lage admits Wall Street Rally's form isn't much, but he has put a steady series of long works into her.

- Three from the Bobby Frankel barn, Blue Stellar, Dance Dreamer, and Fateful Dream, head the 16 nominees for Saturday's $200,000 Bay Meadows Breeders' Cup Handicap. Blue Stellar won last year's Bay Meadows Derby.

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