10/21/2004 12:00AM

Lenatareese needs good start


LEXINGTON, Ky. - A trainer literally spends weeks plotting and working and worrying about the next race for a horse. Then all that time and energy gets wasted in a matter of seconds when the horse rears up in the gate, giving its opponents a lead that proves insurmountable.

David Carroll hates when that happens.

"Unbelievable," said Carroll, referring to the last race for , his standout 3-year-old turf filly. "She broke in the air, and then the leaders went the first quarter in 25 [seconds] and change. It was very disappointing to go up there and have that happen. The whole race is a throw-out."

Because Lenatareese had what amounted to a wasted effort when finishing eighth in that race, the Oct. 11 Pebbles at Belmont Park, Carroll has wheeled her right back for the $100,000 Valley View Stakes, a Grade 3 race that drew an overflow field for its 14th running Saturday at Keeneland. Lenatareese, with Larry Melancon aboard, is one of several top contenders in what shapes up as a well-matched race at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

"Originally we had planned to skip the Valley View, but she didn't have much of a race up there," Carroll said of the Pebbles. "Hopefully she'll behave Saturday and get away in decent order. She's a neat little filly, a real athlete with a big heart. I hope she gets a chance to show it this time."

Besides Lenatareese, the other main players in the Valley View include Sister Swank, a Steve Asmussen-trained filly who has earned a paycheck in all nine career starts; Catboat, who dead-heated for win in the Grade 3 Arlington Oaks two starts back; Jinny's Gold, a speedy filly who figures as the one to catch; Bay Tree, an Irish import who stands to improve off her U.S. debut four weeks ago; and Shadow Cast, a Neil Howard trainee who has won four races, although all on dirt.

Key riding assignments include Pat Day on Sister Swank and leading jockey Rafael Bejarano on Catboat.

The rest of the Valley View field is Beau Watch, Pretty Jane, Rich Find, This One for Abbey, Topango, and Barnsy. Two other fillies, Cape Town Lass and Lady Offense, are also eligible.

The Valley View is the ninth of 10 races on a Saturday card that starts at 1:15 p.m. Eastern. Three allowances (races 3, 7, and 8) also are on tap.

The Sunday feature at Keeneland is the $150,000 Rood & Riddle Dowager Stakes.