09/08/2005 12:00AM

Luas Line lands easier spot in U.S. return


ELMONT, N.Y. - When Luas Line came to North America from Ireland two months ago, she faced several of the best 3-year-old grass fillies in the world in the American Oaks at Hollywood Park. That she finished fourth behind Japanese sensation Cesario and ahead of eight others was deemed a success.

After heading back to Ireland, where she beat males in a pair of listed stakes 20 days apart, Luas Line returns to North America to face a seemingly modest group in Saturday's Grade 1, $300,000 Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap at Belmont Park.

will face only five in the Garden City, scheduled for nine furlongs on Belmont's inner turf course. Asi Siempre, a stakes winner in France, and North American-based stakes winners Insan Mala and My Typhoon are the major players. Dynamite Lass and Finlandia seem overmatched.

Luas Line was beaten 6 1/2 lengths by Cesario in the American Oaks. She finished one length behind Singhalese, who came back to win her next two starts, including the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks.

"She got a nice run down the backstretch," said Frank Leavy, the assistant trainer David Wachman. "She was nicely placed, then she got a little squeezed on the turn."

Leavy also serves as the exercise rider for Luas Line, and said he liked the way she felt Thursday morning training over Belmont's main track.

"She just felt stronger, and her fitness is good," he said.

John Velazquez will ride Luas Line from post 5.

was purchased privately by Martin Schwartz and turned over to Patrick Biancone following a minor stakes win in France. She has shown a fondness for firm turf, evidenced by a Wednesday workout over the Saratoga training turf course timed in 46.81 seconds for a half-mile.

won the Virginia Oaks in July from off the pace and was beaten a head by Naissance Royale in the Grade 2 Lake Placid, where she dueled on the lead with Ready's Gal. "That was not a good spot for her to be in," trainer Bill Mott said. "I think she is probably better with a target in front of her."

Trainer Christophe Clement will point Naissance Royale to the

Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth next month at Keeneland. He will run Insan Mala back on 13 days' rest following her victory in the Tenski Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 28.

The field

Garden City
Purse: $300,000; 1 1/8 miles, turf; Grade 1

1Asi SiempreG. Stevens1185-2
2Insan MalaE. Prado1166-1
3Dynamite LassE. Coa11620-1
4FinlandiaM. Luzzi11615-1
5Luas LineJ. Velazquez1188-5
6My TyphoonJ. Bailey1169-5

* Odds by Art Gropper