10/18/2001 11:00PM

Gino's Spirits lifts Walden


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Eleven days into a Keeneland meet is not normally the time that trainer Elliott Walden finds himself "getting off the schneid," as racetrackers say.

So when Gino's Spirits drove to victory for Walden in the Friday feature, the $84,750 Bryan Station Stakes, Walden said he felt more relieved than anything. The trainer had been winless until then.

"It's like a weight was lifted off me," said Walden.

"I just appreciate the mare. She's the kind you just lead over there."

Gino's Spirits, ridden by Pat Day, rallied for a half-length triumph over Watch in a field of

10 fillies and mares in the Bryan Station, a one-mile turf race. Binalegend finished third, another length back.

Gino's Spirits, a 5-year-old English-bred mare owned by Rio Aventura Stable and Tom Van Meter, returned $4.20 as favorite after finishing in 1:36.06 over a firm course.

The win was the second in a row in a stakes for Gino's Spirits, who last captured the Sept. 23 Kentucky Cup Ladies as the favorite under Day. She now has won nine of 33 starts and just under $400,000.

The Bryan Station ended the first pick five wager that was not hit at this meet. The carryover into Saturday was $14,492.