12/23/2004 12:00AM

Lenarue faster than she looks


Considering the circumstances, the number is huge. , a 2-year-old filly making her career debut at Hoosier Park on Nov. 10, earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 94, a figure that compares favorably with some of the best in her division this year and one that had the cell phone of trainer Joan Scott ringing frequently in the race aftermath.

"We did get quite a few calls," Scott said last week from her current base at Tampa Bay Downs. "But honestly, she would never pass the vet. She was supposed to be in the September sales at Keeneland when she was a yearling, but her conformation is so incorrect that she was withdrawn."

Nonetheless, by winning her first and only start by 18 1/2 lengths on an otherwise forgettable night at Hoosier, Lenarue showed "she's a stone runner," said Scott. "No doubt that was a bang-up race."

Sunday, as Turfway Park resumes action following a two-day Christmas break and begins its traditional end-of-year barrage of daytime racing, Lenarue will be one of the deserving favorites in the ninth-race feature, the $50,000 Gowell Stakes. With Eddie Zuniga set to ride, Lenarue will break from the outside post in a field of 10 2-year-old fillies entered in the six-furlong Gowell.

Scott, who has been a licensed trainer for three years and whose greatest career win came with longshot Freefourinternet in the 2003 Kelso Mile at Belmont Park, will not be at Turfway for the Gowell because of travel complications caused by the Christmas holiday. Lenarue, a Gone West filly owned by co-breeder Robert Berger, will have shipped from the Thoroughbred Training Center in Lexington, Ky., while her trainer watches via simulcast from Tampa, where she is overseeing 16 other horses.

Lenarue, said Scott, "is such a nice filly, but we've really had to be careful with her because of the way she's made. We're already at looking at her being a broodmare, and obviously it would help to get some black type with her."

Besides Lenarue, the other major contenders in the Gowell are Coronado Rose, already a two-time stakes winner for trainer Steve Asmussen, and Angel Trumpet, a graded-stakes-placed filly who most recently earned a 98 Beyer in winning an allowance sprint at Mountaineer Racetrack for trainer Bernie Flint.

The Sunday card at Turfway marks the first of eight straight daytime programs, including rare Monday and Tuesday cards. First post every day through next Sunday, Jan. 2, is 1:10 p.m. Eastern.