05/02/2004 11:00PM

Elusive Diva, P. Val win Railbird


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Elusive Diva was a cool filly on a warm day at Hollywood Park on Sunday, winning her first stakes in the $109,600 Railbird Stakes.

Her trainer Mark Glatt admitted he was bundle of nerves in early stretch when Elusive Diva was stuck behind rivals under jockey Patrick Valenzuela.

"I was a little worried that she wouldn't get through," he said. "She really waited nicely. I was probably more nervous than Pat or the horse."

Elusive Diva emerged between fillies in early stretch and rallied along the rail to win by a neck over M.A. Fox, a 10-1 shot. Speedy Falcon, who won the $250,000 Sunland Park Oaks in March, finished third in the field of eight 3-year-old fillies. Aspen Gal, the 6-5 favorite, finished fourth, losing by a half-length.

Elusiva Diva ($11.80) ran seven furlongs in 1:21.36. She reached contention on the final turn after stalking pacesetter Allswellthatnswell through early fractions of 21.74 and 44.16 seconds.

The Grade 3 Railbird Stakes was Elusive Diva's first start in blinkers. She finished fourth in the Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park on April 9 in her stakes debut.

"The blinkers really make a difference," Glatt said. "She seemed more focused."

Owned by John and Doris Konecny and Allen and Susan Branch, Elusive Diva has won 3 of 5 starts and $136,180. Glatt said Elusive Diva will be considered for the $175,000 Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks over 1 1-16 miles on the main track on June 12.