07/30/2004 11:00PM

Lenatareese rallies to take Audubon Oaks


One race after winning an allowance at Churchill Downs with a last to first rally, Lenatareese utilized a similar style to win Saturday's $75,000 Audubon Oaks at Ellis Park.

The tactics were not by design. Lenatareese broke slowly, which forced jockey Brice Blanc to place her at the back of the pack. He let her relax in 11th as Victoire Bataille set quick fractions of 46.19 and 1:10.30 in the 1 1/16-mile turf contest.

Still second to last approaching the stretch, Blanc swung her out wide for the drive and she quickly advanced from sixth with a furlong remaining to first at the wire. She won by a half-length over Key to the Cat, with Lady Offense a length further back in third.

"She acted up in the gate and kind of got left," said Blanc, who won two races at Ellis Saturday. "I reminded myself of her push-button speed and just let her relax and gather herself. She put in a terrific run through the stretch."

The winner completed the distance in 1:41.51 over a "good" turf course soaked by rain on Friday. She paid $3.60 as the favorite in the field of 12.

Lenatareese, a daughter of Broad Brush, earned $46,250 in recording her first stakes victory in the Audubon Oaks. Her earnings increased to $137,180 on a 4-0-1 record from six starts for owner Brad Anderson and trainer David Carroll.