09/29/2001 12:00AM

Last-to-first Janet takes Yellow Ribbon


ARCADIA, Calif. - Watching his filly trail in last-place on the backstretch of Saturday's $500,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes, trainer Darrell Vienna feared the worst.

"I thought she wouldn't run at all," Vienna said. "I thought, this is going to be a disaster."

Vienna was never more delighted to be wrong. With a convincing rally on the final turn, Janet pulled an upset in the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon, outfinishing Tranquility Lake, the 6-5 favorite and defending champion.

Tranquility Lake led for much of the race, fighting off the challenges of Nepenthe and Minor Details through fractions of 23.73 and 45.98 seconds to shake clear on the final turn.

Janet was last at the end of the backstretch, but she quickly reached contention under jockey David Flores. Third with a quarter-mile remaining, she won by a length, finishing 1 1/4 miles on turf in 1:58.64 before an ontrack crowd of 34,354.

"David said she was very relaxed," Vienna said. "She's never been in the clear. In almost all her races, she's had trouble."

Tranquility Lake, who is being prepared for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff, finished two lengths in front of 20-1 Al Desima, who was followed by Bucarest, Nepenthe, Kalatiara, The Seven Seas and Minor Details.

The Yellow Ribbon was Janet's third stakes win of the year. A winner of 7 of 18 starts and $816,737, she will not try the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf due to a $200,000 supplement, owner Jed Cohen said.

Instead, Cohen mentioned a stakes in Japan in November as a possible goal.