09/29/2001 11:00PM

'Busride' motors to Oak Leaf win

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ARCADIA, Calif. - A change in travel plans led to a 15-1 upset by Tali'sluckybusride in Sunday's $250,000 Oak Leaf Stakes at Santa Anita.

Originally scheduled to ship to Belmont Park for the Astarita Stakes on Oct. 8, Tali'sluckybusride was rerouted to the Oak Leaf Stakes after the shipping company could not guarantee the travel dates.

Her win in the Oak Leaf Stakes gave owners Ron and Susie Anson their first success in a Grade 1.

"I've never been in a Grade 1 before, let alone won one," Ron Anson said.

The Oak Leaf lost some of its prestige when Habibti, the morning-line favorite, was scratched after developing a fever on Saturday.

As a result, six fillies started in a race not expected to have an impact on the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Belmont Park on Oct. 27.

Tali'sluckybusride is not eligible for the Breeders' Cup and will be pointed for the Hollywood Park fall meeting, Ron Anson said.

Ridden by Jose Valdivia, Jr. for trainer Alfredo Marquez, Tali'sluckybusride ($32.20) won by 4 1/2 lengths, finishing a mile in 1:37.77. Valdivia had Tali'sluckybusride in second for the first half of the race, chasing Ayanna who set fractions of 22.41 and 45.75 seconds.

Tali'sluckybusride took over on the final turn and won comfortably over Imperial Gesture, the winner of a maiden race at Saratoga who was the 3-2 favorite. Ms Louisett finished third and was followed by Roaring Blaze,

Whitewinesipper and Ayanna, who was eased.

Tali'sluckybusride is unbeaten in two starts, having won a maiden race over 5 1/2 furlongs on Aug. 12.

"I don't think he emptied her out," Anson said. "She has so much talent. If she can just relax, I think she has incredible potential. A week ago, we didn't plan to run here," Ron Anson said. "I haven't slept in a week."