03/10/2007 1:00AM

India keeps her head in front of Kettleoneup


India withstood a claim of foul to win her comeback from a five-month layoff by a head over Kettleoneup in Saturday's Grade 3, $175,000 Azeri Breeders' Cup at Oaklawn Park.

It was another 2 1/2 lengths back in third to A True Pussycat.

India and Kettleoneup made contact late in the stretch, and Calvin Borel, the rider of Kettleoneup, lodged an objection. Stewards ruled there was insufficient evidence to allow the claim, and the original order of finish stood.

India ($3.80) broke out at the start of the 1 1/16-mile race, and moved quickly to the front, sitting just off pacesetter Gasia through an opening quarter in 23.59 seconds. Down the backside, India overtook Gasia through a half-mile in 47.76, then was in command through six furlongs in 1:12.30. In the stretch, India held off a fast-closing Kettleoneup.

Chris DeCarlo rode the winner for trainer Todd Pletcher.

With the victory, India remained perfect in three two-turn starts. Overall, India has won 5 of 11 starts and $557,859 for Lyon Stables.