09/14/2007 11:00PM

Dance Away Capote storms home

EmailELMONT, N.Y. - A bit softer company and a more lively pace helped Dance Away Capote return to the winner's circle in Saturday's Grade 3, $113,500 Noble Damsel Handicap at Belmont Park.

Under a terrific ride from Alan Garcia, Dance Away Capote, ninth of 10 down the backside, rallied six wide in the stretch and motored past Pommes Frites and Bayou's Lassie in midstretch to roll to a 4 1/2-length score.

Fantastic Shirl, the only horse behind Dance Away Capote down the backside, rallied to get second by 1 3/4 lengths over Pommes Frites, the 3-1 favorite.

The victory was the seventh from 19 career starts for Dance Away Capote, and her second from three turf tries. After winning the Duda, an overnight stakes here in July, she finished fifth behind last year's 3-year-old filly champion Wait a While in the Grade 2 Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup Handicap last month at Saratoga.

Though an evenly matched group, there were no Wait a Whiles in the Noble Damsel.

Dance Away Capote, a 5-year-old daughter of Capote trained by Barclay Tagg, rated in the back of the pack in he mile race while Rahys' Appeal set the pace, pressed by Bayou's Lassie and Pommes Frites. The early fractions were 22.98 and 46.19 seconds.

Dance Away Capote launched a four-wide move around the turn and she continued her sustained run while racing six-wide through the lane. She timed in 1:34.82 over a firm Widener Turf Course and returned $20.40 to win.

"She has to have things go her own way and she did today," Tagg said. "She got spun wide off the turn a little bit and I thought that would take something out of her but she had plenty left."

It's possible Dance Away Capote, owned by Robert Evans, could make her next start in the Grade 2, $400,000 First Lady Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 6.