03/26/2005 1:00AM

Miriam L wins 'Oates' at 30-1


NEW ORLEANS - Miriam L. came up the rail in the final strides Saturday to post a 30-1 upset victory in the $100,000 Sarah Lane's Oates for Louisiana-bred 3-year-old fillies over a mile on the turf at Fair Grounds.

Jockey James Graham gave a letter-perfect ride to the daughter of Kipling, saving ground early, cutting the corner brilliantly turning for home, guiding her out of a blind switch in deep stretch, and then tucking back in along the rail inside the final sixteenth of a mile to catch odds-on favorite The Beter Man Can in the final strides.

The Beter Man Can appeared in control of the race as jockey E.J. Perrodin guided her through a quarter mile in 25.42 seconds and a half in 50.87 with second choice Blueyed Lass tracking her intently under Gerard Melancon. After running six furlongs in 1:16.52 The Beter Man Can shook loose of Blueyed Lass and looked like a winner until the last few strides. Miriam L. won by a head, finishing the mile in 1:41.78. Blueyed Lass outfinished My Foriels On for third.

Miriam L., trained by James Hodges for owner Stacey Monk, paid $62.60.

Earlier on the card, Rue des Reves finished her outstanding Fair Grounds meet with a flourish, winning her fourth race, all on turf. A 5-year-old Royal Academy mare, she won a 1 1/16-mile allowance for fillies and mares going away.

"She's a very honest mare," said her trainer, Dwight Viator. "She's fit and she can run all day on turf."